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Bridges Over the Ravine to Remain Closed During 2017-18

August 24, 2017

Cobblestone Circle

Earlier this summer, the two bridges spanning the ravine east of Templeton Campus Center were closed after routine maintenance inspections revealed deterioration in the support structures. Throughout the summer, Associate Vice President for Facilities Michel George and his team have been meeting with engineers and consultants to determine a solution that balances four priorities for the project: safety, environmental impact, cost, and aesthetics.

“The bridges are important thoroughfares for our campus community, and we recognize the inconvenience their closure has on our students, staff, and faculty,” said George. “But our community’s safety comes first, and it’s important we get this replacement done right.”

As both bridges span a creek that feeds into the Willamette River, the area is a sensitive environmental zone—a factor that increases the cost and complexity of removing the old structures and building new structures in their place. The existing treescape and location of the bridges (close to residence halls and the historic gardens) complicate access to the site and the construction process. Further, the city’s environmental and building permitting processes must be completed before any construction can begin.

The replacement plan is as follows:
  • Both ravine bridges will be closed for much, if not all, of the 2017–18 school year.  

  • The eastern bridge will be deconstructed and replaced. The new bridge will be designed to meet stringent new seismic safety standards, as well as address safety concerns such as slipperiness. 

  • The western bridge (closest to Templeton) will be deconstructed and not replaced. To provide ADA  access formerly provided by the bridge, a new ramp is being created under Templeton’s Council Chamber.

The college will continue to provide updates as the project moves forward. In the meantime, the Facilities team appreciates the patience and flexibility of everyone.