Iowa State's bridge project near Jack Trice gets final approval for expected summer start to construction

Phillip Sitter
Ames Tribune
The proposed Gateway Bridge lights up the night in an architectural rendering. The bridge would carry pedestrians from the east side of Jack Trice Stadium to parking across University Boulevard.

The Iowa Board of Regents has given final approval for a $10 million pedestrian bridge that would span the road east of Jack Trice Stadium to move forward with construction.

The Regents' Property and Facilities Committee last week gave their approval to the proposed quarter-mile-long elevated Gateway Bridge that would connect the east side of the stadium, at Gate 2, to new parking lots east of University Boulevard. 

The committee's approval left the full board to give its go-ahead, which they did Wednesday upon approving the consent agenda for that day's meeting. 

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The pedestrian bridge is being paid for by two donors' $5 million gifts last fall, and is viewed by Iowa State's athletics department as critical to future development around the stadium. 

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The Gateway Bridge would connect the stadium with a planned parking lot of 300 spaces for RVs, each with electrical hook-ups, to be located east of University Boulevard, which connects campus directly to Highway 30.

Athletics officials also have said the bridge would improve pedestrians' ability to cross University Boulevard on Cyclone football gamedays.

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As for a timeline on construction, Pam Cain — Iowa State's senior vice president for operations and finance — told the facilities committee last week, "The construction bids are expected in early summer of 2021, with construction to begin during the summer of 2021, with an anticipated completion of early fall 2022.” 

Chris Jorgensen, Iowa State's senior associate athletics director for operations, did not have more details Wednesday to add to that timeline.

The university will need an easement to build the bridge over University Boulevard's right-of-way, and is working with the city of Ames on that easement.

Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at psitter@gannett.com. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.