Map of alternate Stadium Way routes during Nevada Street bridge closure. Courtesy of WSU Facilities Servcies.
PULLMAN, Wash. – The southern or main entrance to the Washington State University Pullman campus at Stadium Way and Highway 270 will be closed Dec. 22-Jan. 1 to allow for demolition of the Nevada Street pedestrian bridge.
“Drivers seeking to enter Stadium Way at Highway 270 will instead be detoured east to Airport Way and back onto campus along Grimes Road,” said WSU Police Chief Bill Gardner. Stadium Way will be closed between Highway 270 and Grimes Way, while Nevada Street will be closed between Washington Street and Olympia Avenue.
In addition, “beginning on Dec. 22 … only limited service access will be provided on Stadium Way between Grimes Road and the area around College Avenue,” said Gardner.
Demolition is being done over Christmas break to ensure the least disruption in traffic.
“The plan is to have the majority of the work completed by Jan. 1,” said Cynthia Arbour, project manager with WSU Facilities Services.
The bridge, built in 1965, was closed by the university on Nov. 19 due to issues regarding structural integrity. The bridge allows students and employees from several residence halls and buildings – including Stephenson Complex, Rogers, Orton and Kruegel – to cross Stadium Way safely and efficiently.
A recent engineering report showed the bridge is “currently not dangerous,” but adds there are “structural issues growing rapidly with continued use.” To ensure safety, the university has determined that closure and demolition of the bridge is the best course of action.
Design work to replace the bridge is under way.
Tentative plans call for Stadium Way to be open by Jan. 2; however, traffic might be reduced to “one lane in each direction” on both Stadium Way and Nevada Street until demolition and cleanup work is completed, Arbour said.
In an effort to ensure pedestrian safety, the length of the pedestrian walk signal recently was extended. As a result, drivers on Nevada Street trying to turn onto Stadium Way are having to wait a few seconds longer.
“We are monitoring the intersection and it appears there’s enough time for both pedestrians and vehicles to make it through the intersection safely,” said Arbour. “Things seem to be flowing adequately now, but we don’t know how things might change in the future, particularly in poor weather conditions such as snow and ice.
“So, we are encouraging people to find alternate routes,” she said. “We will continue to monitor the intersection in the future.”
Drivers and pedestrians are asked to plan and explore alternate routes to help avoid and diffuse traffic congestion in the vicinity of the bridge. For example, drivers can enter campus via Airport Road and Grimes Way or use other alternate routes. Pedestrians also can help by taking alternate routes; there are two other foot bridges located a short distance east on Stadium Way.
Students and employees are thanked for their help during this period to keep traffic moving smoothly.