Library bridge demolition begins

The Center for Library Information Resources construction project passed a major milestone last week with the beginning of the demolition of the pedestrian bridge linking Woodruff and Candler libraries. David Clear, project manager in Campus Planning and Construction, said the dismantling and demolition of the 100-ton bridge was delayed by heavy rains on Oct. 7, but began the afternoon of Oct. 8, after the surrounding ground area had a chance to dry out sufficiently.

"The bridge demolition will take two to three weeks to complete," Clear said. "We plan to complete as much of the nosiest activity as possible over fall break (Oct. 14 and 15) in hopes that most of it will be done when the students return." Clear said the bridge will be taken apart in small pieces, rather than coming down in one fell swoop. He said that removing the deck of the bridge will be fairly straightforward, but removing the sides will be a more intricate process. "The sides basically will be chewed away in small pieces," he said. "There won't be any dramatic dynamite blast that takes out the whole bridge. It will be a painstakingly slow process."

The bridge demolition will not affect the current pedestrian access to Woodruff Library, said Clear. Pedestrian access to the bridge was eliminated just before the semester started, and library access shifted to the other side of the ravine spanned by the bridge. Clear said current plans call for that access to remain in place for the rest of fall semester. He said that tentative construction plans call for moving the library entrance from the north side of the plaza level (facing Candler Library) to the south side (facing Annex B) over the winter break.

Directional signs guiding library patrons to the entrance will remain in place, and will be updated as needed throughout the construction period.

In addition to its impact on pedestrian traffic, the construction project will affect vehicular traffic this weekend when Beers Construction, the project's general contractor, begins building a large crane to be used during construction. As a result, parking along Asbury Circle in the Woodruff Library area will be prohibited Oct. 18-20. Clear said that Beers Construction is coordinating that project with the Emory Police Department.

The Center for Library Information Resources will consist of a 65,000-square- foot, four-story addition between Woodruff and Candler libraries. The $23-million project was designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott Inc. of Boston, and the expected completion date is August 1998.

--Dan Treadaway

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