November 17, 2000

New Lights Increase Footbridge Security

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In response to the armed robbery that occurred on the footbridge between Collegetown and campus last month, the University installed two temporary light fixtures.

The safety measure was implemented three days ago to light the way for students crossing the bridge in the evening hours, according to Scott G. Knewasser, electrical engineer for utilities.

These lights will be in place until the more permanent fixtures arrive in approximately five weeks, he said.

The increased lighting is an answer to the growing concern among students over safety and a comprehensive review of the lighting on the 140-foot bridge.

“The incident [armed robbery] expedited the decision of the maintenance management office,” said Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for University relations.

“In the past, the bridge itself was not lit because it was a narrow and confined space with railings and no place for anyone to hide,” Knewasser said.

However, the Oct. 23 armed robbery involving two males approaching an undergraduate female student on the bridge convinced the facilities department to fund more lighting.

The two light fixtures will have a curved top similar to a candy cane with a fixture hanging from the end, said Jeffrey N. Lallas, project manager, maintenance management. Workers will attach them approximately one-third and two-thirds of the way across the bridge providing lighting for the middle portion.

Prior to the lighting additions, one light stood at each end of the pathway of the footbridge, but the two extra fixtures will be permanently welded to the bridge itself, Lallas explained.

All arrangements have been made for the new lights, and “will hopefully be installed by the end of the semester,” he said.

Maintenance management personnel regularly review the lighting systems on campus for design, code review, planning and aesthetic elements, according to Lallas.

“Lighting systems are improved both by our own identification of needs and from the campus community,” he added. “We have to make sure we are not causing a safety problem by trying to solve a safety problem.”

Archived article by Rachel Pessah