New Tempe Town Lake pedestrian bridge to open Oct. 18

Tempe, Arizona – Drivers along Loop 202 or visitors to Tempe Town Lake have watched the gracefully curving arches of the lake’s new Pedestrian Bridge take shape during construction.

Help us celebrate this new, beautiful addition to Tempe Town Lake. The bridge will open for public use after a 6:30 a.m. ceremony and media opportunity on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Join Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and members of the Tempe City Council for an inaugural run and ride across the Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge, located adjacent to the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.

“This bridge does more than link two sides of our lake. It helps reduce pollution by encouraging bicycling and walking to work. It also provides cooling and shade for Town Lake’s dam system. The City of Tempe appreciates the grants that have helped us build this beautiful and useful bridge,” Hallman said.

The early morning hour of this grand opening celebration makes it possible to enjoy a bike ride with members of the Tempe Bicycle Action Group or run with members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona Mayor’s Run for Wellness.

The Tempe Bicycle Action Group will lead a free 5-mile ride over the bridge and around Town Lake. Hallman and his team will casually jog less than 2 miles from the Tempe Center for the Arts, crossing the new bridge, west to Priest Road and back again. The run is also free.

Those less athletically inclined can spend time with the PCL Construction crews who built the bridge as well as bridge designers T.Y. Lin and Otak and artist Laurie Lundquist. Grab-and-go breakfast treats will be available, compliments of T.Y. Lin.

Official comments will begin at 6:45 a.m., with the run and ride starting at 7 a.m. to get everyone to school or work on time.

Tempe has 175 miles of bike paths and was once again named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. About 4 percent of Tempe’s population rides a bike to work regularly. Want more information on biking?

Facts about the bridge:
• The bridge was built in four, 228-foot spans.
• The bridge is 12 feet wide. The deck expands to 14 feet at each end to provide an easy transition for bicyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is 34 feet tall.
• 32 cables suspend the bridge arches.
• The steel used in this bridge is all American-made. All labor done for this bridge was by Arizona companies, including Killer Shade, PCL Construction and Stinger Welding
• Canvas nestled in the bridge’s curves provides shade.
• The sprinkler system for the dam located on the bottom of the bridge is environmentally sensitive. The sprinklers will not turn on if the weather is cooler than 90 degrees, if the wind is blowing away from the rubber bladders or if it is dark outside.
• Beautiful blue lighting illuminates the bridge each evening.

For information about the bridge opening between Oct. 10-13, call Sue Taaffe at 480-350-8663. After Oct. 13, call Kris Baxter-Ging at 480-858-2059.