November 29, 2018
County Executive Kittleman announces completion of new and improved “Bridge Columbia”
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced the completion of improvements to the pedestrian bridge that crosses Route 29 in Columbia. The improvements included the installation of a new spiraling geodesic tube around the bridge, upgraded lighting and additional safety enhancements.
“For too long this key connection in Columbia was neglected,” said Kittleman. “With Columbia having just turned 50, we needed to ensure our infrastructure is meeting the demands of this community. With these improvements completed, I think it is important we recognize the value this crossing holds as it connects two of our most treasured villages, Oakland Mills and Town Center, by designating it as ‘Bridge Columbia’.”
A feasibility study on bridge upgrades began in 2014 and was completed in 2015. Public meetings and opportunities for input 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.
“We are excited County Executive Kittleman made it a priority to improve this vital link between Oakland Mills and Downtown Columbia. It is essential to revitalizing our community,” said Ginny Thomas, Oakland Mills Columbia Council Representative. “We sincerely appreciate the collaborative approach he took with the community in making this project a reality.”
In addition to enhanced lighting, the County is in the process of upgrading the security cameras to allow the police department to access clearer images from the bridge.
“The Friends of Bridge Columbia are extremely grateful to County Executive Kittleman for spearheading this improvement to the pedestrian bridge linking east and west Columbia over US 29,” said Fred Gottemoeller, of Friends of Bridge Columbia. “We remain hopeful that our state and local leaders will continue their collaborative work by supplementing the existing bridge with some provision for buses, so that transit users can also benefit from this important shortcut.”
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 around the bridge proved aesthetically unappealing and poor lighting contributed to the community’s concerns about safety and security.
August 13, 2018
The bridge is fully open, and finishing touches are being put on the lighting. Because the bridge is once again open, the RTA bus passes issued for the bridge closure are no longer valid.
February 12, 2018
The bridge is now open from dawn until dusk as the project nears completion.
December 18, 2017
This week, the contractor will be lifting the spiraling geodesic tube onto the bridge itself. Following this, the fencing on both sides of the bridge will be installed, and the new lighting will be added. This work is expected to be completed during the month of January.
October 18, 2017
US 29 pedestrian bridge work to resume October 26; bridge to be closed until early December
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Public Works today announced that work to improve the pedestrian bridge that crosses US 29 in Columbia will resume on October 26, resulting in the closure of the bridge until early December. Work had been briefly suspended due to an interruption in the contractor’s materials supply for the colored, spiraling geodesic tube that will surround the bridge.
In addition to the geodesic tube, the bridge improvement project includes the installation of new lighting and enhanced security upgrades. The pedestrian bridge opened more than three decades ago and has served as an important connection between Columbia Town Center and residential communities to the east, including Oakland Mills and Long Reach.
The County will continue to distribute and honor complimentary bus passes for those traveling between the Oakland Mills Village Center and The Mall in Columbia. Those passes may be obtained by contacting the County’s Office of Transportation at 410-313-4312 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information on the project, including information on the alternatives for those who walk and bike across the bridge, can be found on-line at www.howardcountymd.gov/US29Bridge.
September 25, 2017
US 29 Pedestrian Bridge to be reopened for the month of October
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Public Works has been informed that a contractor’s difficulty in securing materials needed to manufacture the new spiraling geometric cage for the US 29 Pedestrian Bridge has led to a delay in the completion of the project. Because of that supply delay, the bridge will be re-opened in the morning on September 27 and will remain open daily from dawn until dusk until construction resumes.
The County will continue to distribute and honor bus passes for those traveling between the Oakland Mills Village Center and the Mall in Columbia, during the time the bridge is re-opened.
The bridge will be closed again in early November and the project is now slated to be completed in early January.
Additional information about the US 29 pedestrian bridge project is available online at www.howardcountymd.gov/US29Bridge.
September 5, 2017
UPDATE: THE US 29 PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE IS NOW CLOSED. See below for information about the closure and how to get around without it.
A Howard County construction project to enhance the US 29 pedestrian bridge in Columbia is expected to begin on or about Tuesday, September 5. The project will replace the bridge’s existing fence structure with a colored, spiraling geodesic tube around the bridge. New lighting and enhanced security features will be also installed as part of this project. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by late November.
• Complimentary bus passes valid for RTA bus service between the Oakland Mills Village Center and Downtown Columbia to individuals whose essential transportation needs will be impacted by the temporary closure of the bridge. To obtain a pass, individuals should contact the Office of Transportation at (410) 313-4312 or email email@example.com.
• Guiding bridge users to CarpoolNow, a smartphone app to help people find a carpool.
• Developing a signed bike route using the Seneca Drive bridge.
More information about the project and the mitigation measures is available at the project website, www.howardcountymd.gov/US29Bridge. Informational signs will advise pedestrians and cyclists of the project and alternate routes. Periodic single-lane closures and shifts will be necessary to allow contractors to safely work above US 29 during construction hours, weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.