These two pedestrian bridges replace two 1940s-era bridges that spanned Washington Avenue, connecting the University of Minnesota’s historic Northrop Mall with Coffman Union. Although the original bridges had sentimental value to many former students and faculty, they were in disrepair and not accessible to impaired students, structurally unsound and aesthetically unlike the surrounding architecture. A new design was needed.
The bridges now meet ADA standards for accessibility and have been updated with stainless steel railings and stonework that fits into the campus context. They serve both a symbolic and practical role as a gateway to the campus, creating a sense of arrival that is memorable for students and visitors alike.