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Construction finished on Jordan River bridge connecting local school to community

A brown wooden bridge with cars and green trees in the background
Fox 13 News

After eight years, a new bridge over the Jordan River is helping kids safely get to school.

Ideas for the newly constructed bridge began in 2014 when parents started looking for new ways to get their kids to school in both an easy and safe way. Karina Villalba, family school collaboration specialist and then principal, helped raise money funding the bridge’s construction.

Villalba says that the space had been neglected since she was a child, but now that the space has been made safer for children, their school experience has since improved.

School officials believe that this new bridge is a huge step in helping keep kids safe and they believe that families will be more comfortable sending their children to and from school. Essentially, it’s believed that attendance rates will increase following the bridge’s construction.

Villalba says that before the bridge, kids had to walk near homeless camps and also had to pass through woods which, to a child, can be scary. Making the path to school a safe and comforting one was a top priority for officials.

Speaking at the celebration of the bridge’s completion, Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall says that the bridge is a way to connect communities together. Mendenhall says that before the bridge, a river divided the school from neighborhoods that needed to get to it, but now, there’s opportunity for everybody to connect and become closer.

With the bridge now complete, the school says that building a classroom space on the other side of the bridge to help kids learn about the outdoors is their next project.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.