New Pedestrian Bridge At UTK Opens
Thursday, August 21, 2014
- by John Shearer
Students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from Chattanooga and elsewhere have been saving their breath by using the new pedestrian bridge across Phillip Fulmer Way to get to the top of the Hill.
Alumni and Volunteer supporters who come for a football game this fall, meanwhile, might gasp with pride at the giant “University of Tennessee” letters written on both sides of the expansive structure.
With classes having begun on Wednesday, the bridge has drawn thousands of student users and has become a new campus crossroads. It is also drawing a few rave reviews for its uniqueness and aesthetics.
The structure – which replaced a narrower and shorter footbridge built several decades ago as part of the former University Center garage and plaza – is one of several recently completed or under-construction projects on the Knoxville campus.
It was built in conjunction with the construction of Phase 1 of the $160 million University Union. That part, when completed, will include a bookstore, campus dining facility and Career Services office.
After Phase I is completed in 2015, the old University Center dating back to the early 1950s will be torn down and Phase II will be constructed. It will include additional dining areas, a ballroom, an auditorium, and student recreation, lounge and meeting areas.
The new bridge is drawing praises for such features as the great view toward Neyland Stadium, the unusual brick patterns in the bridge bed, and a unique torchbearer seal with the words, “One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.”
The traditional UT saying dates to the 1920s and encourages leadership and service to others.
To see a slide show of the new bridge and the under-construction University Union, click on the arrow of the photograph accompanying this story.