Howard County is making improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle bridge that crosses US-29 in Columbia, starting in the fall of 2017. The improvements include the installation of a spiraling geodesic tube around the bridge, upgraded lighting and additional safety enhancements, but require the closure of the bridge for about 3 months starting on September 5, 2017.
The pedestrian bridge opened more than three decades ago and it has been an important connection between Columbia’s Town Center and residential communities to the east, including Oakland Mills and Long Reach. However, the chain-link fence barrier around the bridge proved aesthetically unappealing and poor lighting contributed to the community’s concerns about safety and security.
A feasibility study on bridge upgrades began in 2014 and was completed in 2015. Numerous community input meetings and opportunities were held in Fall 2016 and a design study was completed in December 2016. The spiraling geodesic tube was the clear community choice among four options for the bridge.
In addition to enhanced lighting, the County is also installing fiber to provide police with clearer images from security cameras on the bridge. The project is estimated to cost more than $1 million and should be complete in the winter of 2017-2018.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the project, please contact the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Para obtener información sobre el proyecto en español, haga clic aquí.
Pour obtenir des informations sur le projet en français, cliquez ici.
The bicycle and pedestrian bridge over US 29 closed today for the bridge improvements
project. The bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction, which
we expect to be a period of about 3 months. During this time, pedestrians and
bicyclists will not be able to access the bridge. Office of Transportation
Staff will be on site at the Lakefront end of the bridge today from 3:30PM to
6:30PM and on the Oakland Mills end of the bridge from 6:00AM to 9:00AM Wednesday
through Friday to answer questions about the project, issue bus passes, and aid
bridge users in finding alternatives.
The project to renovate and improve
the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over US 29 is quickly approaching! Howard
County expects to close the bridge during the first week of September, and
construction will start immediately afterwards.
The improvement project will
replace the current “cage” with a spiraling geodesic tube, upgrade the lighting
on the bridge, and install fiber to provide police with clearer images from the
security cameras on the bridge. Unfortunately, the project will require the
bridge to be closed for approximately three months.
your essential travel will be disrupted by the bridge closure, please contact
the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312
. Howard County will offer free bus
passes valid for travel between Oakland Mills and Downtown Columbia while the
bridge is closed. If you commute across the bridge when the bus does not
run, please call the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312 to learn about
The "How to Get Around the Closure" section of this website contains important information on bus schedules, carpooling, and bicycling via a different route.
In 35 hours of surveying, the survey team conducted 193 interviews with
a total of 271 bridge users. The single most frequently mentioned trip purpose
was exercise, with 96 respondents stating that as a purpose for their trip. The
second most common trip purpose was travelling to work, with 73 respondents
providing that answer, and the third most common trip purpose was travelling to
the mall, with 47 respondents providing that as an answer. Those who used the
bridge tended to use it often; more than a quarter of those surveyed stated
that they used the bridge every day, nearly two-thirds used it more than once
per week, and more than eight in ten users crossed the bridge at least once per
week. Notably, of the 73 who gave work as a purpose of their trip, 39 made the
trip every day – a rate twice as high as the rate of every-day bridge users
among the full surveyed population.
The most commonly
mentioned option for alternative travel between Oakland Mills and Downtown
Columbia during the bridge closure was riding the bus; more than 30 percent of
bridge users mentioned that option. Only slightly fewer—just under 30
percent—mentioned taking a different route or going someplace else. Daily commuters
were much more bus-dependent than the surveyed population as a whole; 37 of 44
daily commuters (84 percent) mentioned the bus as a method of travel during the
bridge’s closure. Evening and midday hours were the busiest, while early- and
mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and late evening were less busy. The highest level
of bridge use—in the 4:30 to 7:00 PM hours—may be due to people who use the
bridge for recreational purposes after they get home from their daily
activities. The surveying also yielded an estimate that 226 people use the
bridge in a typical weekday.
Starting March 26, 2017, Howard County and KCI Technologies will be conducting a survey to assess the impact of the bridge's coming temporary closure and determine the best way to mitigate the closure for bridge users.
Executive Kittleman announced that work will begin this fall to improve the bridge. To read the full statement and watch the announcement, click here.
RTA buses 407/Brown and 408/Gold provide service between Oakland Mills and Downtown Columbia; for schedules, click here.
Howard County will provide complimentary bus passes valid for travel between Oakland Mills Village Center and Downtown Columbia to individuals whose essential transportation needs will be impacted by the temporary closure of the bridge. To request a pass, or learn about assistance available for after-hours commuting, call the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312 or email email@example.com.
CarpoolNow is a smartphone app that can help you find a carpool. If you own sometimes drive between Downtown Columbia and Oakland Mills, help your neighbors by registering and sharing your ride! If you need a ride, download the app to see if someone can provide one. You can also visit commuterconnections.org for more information about ridesharing.
Click here to download CarpoolNow on the Google Play Store.
Click here to download CarpoolNow on the iTunes App Store.
Click here for a cue sheet for an alternate bike route to the south via Seneca Drive. This route is recommended for cyclists comfortable riding in traffic. You can also take your bike on the bus; RTA buses are equipped with bike racks.
Contact the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about available assistance.
The upgraded bridge will feature a light, airy, and iconic geodesic spiral with new nighttime lighting and upgraded fiber for the bridge's security cameras. To view a selection of renderings of the new bridge, click here.
Work will begin this fall and be completed by the winter of 2017-2018.
We expect the bridge to be closed for 3 months.
The County will provide bus passes to bridge users while the
bridge is closed. For more information, see "How to Get Around the Closure" above.
Stay tuned to this website to see the latest updates!
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