Letter to the editor: “New projects should be prioritized”

Your past issue’s opinion piece on two bridges planned for construction was misguided and inaccurate. The university Campus Planning and Development Department works very hard to prioritize construction projects, often before they are announced. This Lake Osceola bridge is just one instance where we are planning for the future of this campus, which will offer more housing, activities and parking on one side of the lake. Currently, except for walking through the University Center, which is not open at all hours, there is no easy way to cross over to the Student Activities Center (SAC) to access all the activities happening on that side of the lake.

In fact, The Miami Hurricane has run several recent articles about that bridge, which will skirt the lake patio area and is designed to move people from the Eaton Residential College side to the SAC side of the lake. This newspaper got it right on the news side. The bridge replaces one that was there previously, and is essential to moving people around campus, given future campus planning. Construction for this bridge would take place in the summer months, and will not “permanently block our beautiful view of the entire lake as we walk along.” Additionally, this bridge in no way “pressures the city [sic] to build a bridge over the highway,” nor is there any need to pressure our county leadership.

To clarify, the pedestrian bridge which Miami-Dade County has designed to traverse U.S. 1 at Mariposa Court near the University Metrorail station is not on campus property, nor uses any university funding whatsoever. It will, in fact, have a ground breaking this spring. I would be happy to discuss this further with you before you put your pen to paper to write about it or any other campus projects in the future.

See Also: Alyssa Jacobson’s article “New projects should be prioritized”

Janet Gavarrete is associate vice president of UM Campus Planning and Development Department.