Construction on pedestrian bridge over Tempe Town Lake under way

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. – The first sections of the new pedestrian bridge that will span Tempe Town Lake have been delivered and are being assembled with a target completion date of August.

The bridge will be made up for four separate spans, one over each bladder. Each of those individual spans is 228 feet long and weighs about 165,000 pounds.

The 12-foot wide bridge will be suspended by 32 metal cables. Twenty-eight of those cables have already been installed.

Not only will the pedestrian bridge create some shade for the dam, it also will have a sprinkler system designed to help cool the dam’s rubber bladders. One of those bladders burst last summer, sending nearly 1 billion gallons of water into the dry Salt River bed.

Tempe Town Lake remained dry for about three months while repairs were completed. Tempe Town Lake reopened in late October.

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the bridge is the last link in a countywide system of pedestrian and bike paths.

“This actually completes a missing link for the county system so that people can continue to bike, believe it or not, to work,” Hallman said. “This is one of those elements of a bike system that allows people to commute from as far away as Gilbert all the way into downtown Phoenix.”

The new $5.3 million bridge will span the lake from the south bank at Tempe Center for the Arts to the north shore. Most of the funding for the bridge is coming from federal money. It’s being built with American steel and local companies are providing products and services whenever possible.