Historical Information

The Iowa Memorial Union Pedestrian Bridge stands prominently as a link between the east and west sides of campus.

By the mid 1930s, the campus stretched west of the Iowa River to include the arts complex, Law Commons, College of Medicine, and the University of Iowa Hospitals. UI President Walter Jessup envisioned a footbridge that would encourage growth by connecting the two campuses. In 1935 the structure was completed with federal funding from the New Deal program.

UI architect George Horner designed the steel girder bridge with strength and innovation in mind. Its concrete piers were built to minimize river obstruction by standing parallel to the waterflow, a unique concept. Rock-faced limestone steps sit at each end.

After the devastating flood of 2008, the bridge closed; the campus was linked again when it reopened in 2009.