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The Daily Tar Heel

Bridge input essential

University should reconsider building expensive bridge; student input on this issue is crucial

Correction (Nov. 20 12:33 a.m.): Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated the projected costs of the proposed pedestrian bridge over South Road. It is estimated to cost $9 million. The editorial has been changed to reflect the correction.

Due to a reporting error, the board incorrectly suggested that these funds be diverted to an academic-oriented program. Because of the source of the money, it must be used for physical improvement.

Due to an editing error, the board incorrectly stated that the Board of Trustees has approved plans to construct the bridge. Only the site proposal has been approved. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the errors.
The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

The University must re-examine its budget priorities before moving forward with plans to build an $9 million pedestrian bridge over South Road.

At a time when faculty are being laid off, department budgets are being cut and important construction projects are being placed on hold amid a budgetary shortfall, the last thing the University should be funding is an $8 million pedestrian bridge.

Student Body President Jasmin Jones’ administration has been at odds with the Board of Trustees over the issue, citing concerns over the bridge’s cost, practicality and effect on pedestrian safety.

In July, the Board of Trustees approved plans to construct the bridge.

Not only does the proposed bridge have an outrageous price tag, the need for an alternative pedestrian crossing is not nearly pressing enough to justify its construction.

Concern for pedestrian safety on South Road is legitimate. But the urgent need to take drastic measures to facilitate safer passage for students is clearly overexaggerated.

Existing crossing guards on South Road do their jobs well and are inexpensive compared to an $8 million bridge.

The University must, at the very least, delay this project and spend the $8 million on an academic-oriented project that will be more beneficial to the student body.

The proposed bridge is planned to cross over South Road starting near the Pit between the Undergraduate Library and Student Stores and ending further down Stadium Drive behind Fetzer Gymnasium, at the southwest corner of the Student Recreation Center.

A student input session concerning the South Road bridge’s construction will be held tonight.

Panelists present at the meeting will include Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Chris Payne, Director of Facilities Planning Anna Wu, landscape architect Jill Coleman and Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young.

We encourage all students to attend the input session and voice their opinions regarding the bridge’s construction.

Attend the forum

5 p.m. tonight, Hanes Hall, Room 130

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