Finding out what caused a pedestrian bridge near the arena to fail and determining what needs to be done to fix it should happen by mid- to late June, according to Dan Marvin, coordinator of the arena project.

But that leaves a tight deadline for fixing the bridge, which connects the arena to nearby parking, before the opening Michael Bublé concert Sept. 13.

By the end of June, engineers and consultants will know what happened and will have a corrective course of action, Marvin said. Then, builders will finish the structure, which may take up to five weeks, and install the 18-foot letters that spell out Lincoln, which may take another four weeks. 

If all goes well, it should be done the first week of September.

Marvin said there was a backup plan. Shuttle buses would pick up concertgoers at the new parking lot near Haymarket Park and ferry them to the arena.

The bridge won't be done in time for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's summer graduation, which is slated for the arena in August, but Marvin said parking lots closer to the arena should have enough spaces for that event. 

There are about 1,000 parking stalls in a garage attached to the arena, other nearby garages and surface lots, Marvin said. 

Tests on the new pedestrian bridge have been ongoing since a girder slipped April 19.  

Crews have taken X-ray and core sample tests of different parts of the bridge to check for structural strength.

Hawkins Construction is in charge of building the $7.9 million bridge. 

Engineering companies Thornton Tomasetti of New York City, Olsson Associates of Lincoln and Terracon of Olathe, Kan., are inspecting the bridge.

The problem won't cost the city any money because Hawkins insures the project. 

The 611-foot pedestrian bridge will link parking areas near the Haymarket Park baseball stadium to the new arena in the West Haymarket. The bridge rises about 35 feet from the ground at its highest point. 

After completion, 18-foot-high letters will spell L-I-N-C-O-L-N and will be visible from above and on either  side of the pedestrian bridge.

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Reach Jordan Pascale at 402-473-7120, jpascale@journalstar.com or follow him on Twitter: @LJSPascale.


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