Improving Facility at the University of Minnesota

Improving a feature or service at the University of Minnesota: To improve the facility on the bridge from East bank to West bank.

Introduction

Undoubtedly, University of Minnesota is one of the largest and oldest universities in the United States and with impressive academic record. It is a university with interesting and unique geographical features; it is located between two cities of St. Paul, Minnesota and Minneapolis (Costello, 2002). The access between Mississippi’s East and West Banks is provided by the Washington Avenue Bridge (Saltre, 2007). It can be accessed using free shuttle service, designated bike lanes, or on foot. It is the university’s mission to change lives through outreach, education, and research. It seeks new knowledge on how to change lives. Students are prepared to meet the enormous challenges that face the world, the nation, and the state. It is for this reason that students are required to come up with projects and proposals that provides solutions to our state and world as a whole.

The Washington Avenue Bridge provides a good link between the East bank to West bank. However, it can be observed that the transportation between the two sides is limited. It is therefore important that the facilities on the bridge should be improved. There are several improvements that can be undertaken such as adding a few air conditioners and building a better tunnel. If such improvements can be done, students and members of the community as a whole can move more freely from East bank to West bank (Diers and Isaacs, 2007). For example, the students can choose to walk from East bank to West bank instead of commuting by school bus especially during winter. This paper will discuss how to improve the facility on the Washington Avenue Bridge from East bank to West bank. It will discuss what the problem with the bridge is and describe the project plan. Finally, the paper will provide the summary of benefits and costs.

Description of the Problem

The bridge from East bank to West bank is not in the desirable condition. Over the years, the bicycle and pedestrian access on the bridge has been restricted due to safety issues. Engineers have established that the buckling capacities of outside columns supporting the upper deck are not adequate. Even though the Federal Transit Administration is aware of the problem, they have not put in place measures to comprehensively reinforce the bridge (Saltre, 2007). The second major problem facing the bridge is the limited access to the bridge. The major pedestrian artery linking the university’s East and West banks presents problems for people who depend on the upper deck of the bridge. It should be noted that the lower deck is solely dedicated for vehicle traffic and therefore it is not affected by the restricted access. Access to the bridge is often restricted due to frequent repairs on the bridge (Diers and Isaacs, 2007). This affects the movements of students and needs to be addressed once and for all. The problems facing the bridge are further complicated by the fact that those who work to design repairs often face multiple challenges. They should first devise plans of strengthening the columns that support the pedestrian deck. Also, their engineering design plans require FTA approvals and this sometimes take long period (Diers and Isaacs, 2007). As a result, repairs to the bridge usually take longer than expected thus affecting the movements of students. At the moment, the condition of the bridge us considered ‘fair’. The bridge still has its weakest element being the superstructure which is rated as being in fair condition. The most notable problems are the fractured eye bars in the truss…

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