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Bridge opens new entrance to UMHB

Much of the work of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor involves connecting students with a wider, global community. On Tuesday, July 12, UMHB became more closely connected to nearby, local roadways, as the City of Belton celebrated the completion of the bridge connecting Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue (formerly West Ninth Avenue) to Loop 121.

The new bridge, which spans Nolan Creek, boasts sidewalks, bike lanes, and scenic lookouts. Additionally, the new Nolan Creek Nature Trail connects to the bridge. The area even features a new kayak entry point.

The bridge has been in the work for decades. It was seen as a necessary means to relieve traffic on Main Street.

“This project began in 1980 as a dashed line on our future street plan,” Belton City Manager Sam Listi said.

Following a dedication ceremony, City of Belton officials and community members cut a ceremonial ribbon, and a small parade of cars made the first symbolic journal from one bank to the next.

For UMHB, it means a new route into and out of campus. It remains to be seen how the new connection will impact traffic during and following major campus events like game days and commencement. — James Stafford