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      Providence Road Pedestrian Bridge is coming down

      Columbia city leaders are going ahead with plans to tear down the Providence Road Pedestrian Bridge near Douglass High School.

      The $204,000 project will replace the bridge with a concrete island, a pedestrian crosswalk and stoplight.

      City leaders said not enough people use the bridge and it would cost too much to get the pedestrian bridge in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

      Retired school crossing guard Thomas ??T.J.?? Jones said the bridge is worth saving because it is safer than a crosswalk.

      Jones said more people would use the bridge if police would crack down on J-walkers.

      Jones said, ??I think, some way, they should make it mandatory. If you don??t use the bridge to cross the street, I think you should be fined or given some kind of ticket. I think we could save a lot of lives if people started using the bridge.??

      The removal of the bridge and construction of the new crosswalk system is scheduled to begin in October with a completion date in the late winter or early spring.