Earlier today city officials and Xavier University of Louisiana leadership celebrated the opening of the Washington Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. The City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana initially funded the $2.9 million project, but Xavier University of Louisiana will maintain it.
“We’ve been waiting for this bridge since I’ve came to Xavier,” said Xavier University president emeritus of Norman C. Francis. “A lot of prayers have been said that nobody would have been killed crossing that [former] bridge.”
Xavier University has two crossings over the canal: an overpass at Pine Street, and a much smaller pedestrian bridge less than a block away. The smaller bridge—the one Dr. Francis prefers students not to use—can be more dangerous to pass if the nearby canal fills with water.
“This bridge is an accomplishment that has come from many years. But it’s an important part of the evolution for not only this campus, but our neighbors in Gert Town who will share this bridge with us,” says Xavier University president C. Reynold Verret. “It’s an important part of the building of this great city and the future of New Orleans.”
Pedestrians can now enter or exit the new walkway near the Norman C. Francis Academic Complex Annex and across the street near Xavier University’s convocation center.
“It took 15 years, but it says something to all of you: Wait and good things happen,” Francis said.