School's historic bridge refurbished

St. Katherine Drive at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy will remain closed through the month while workers refurbish the school's signature pedestrian bridge.

The road is closed between the main school building and the administration building, and traffic is being re-routed, said Kent Allmon, director of facilities.

The white, wooden bridge, which spans over St. Katherine Drive and connects the two parts of the campus, was designed in 1927 by legendary architect Myron Hunt at what was then a resort hotel. The hotel, built by Flintridge founder Frank P. Flint and later sold to the Biltmore chain, floundered due to financial difficulties and in 1931 the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose established the school there.

The bridge has been meticulously maintained, Allmon said, but two years ago it was struck by a passing garbage truck.

"It was not enough damage that it was unsafe, but it needed to be repaired," Allmon said. "In January this year, it was struck again by another trash truck."

The school brought in an engineer who recommended more extensive repairs. The bridge sits just inside the Pasadena city limits, Allmon said, so plans were submitted first to Pasadena and then to the city of La Cañada Flintridge.

Workers are now replacing many of the wooden beams that give the bridge its distinct look, Allmon said, adding that the refurbishment will preserve its original aesthetic. The road is expected to be reopened by the end of July.

"We are trying to do it as quickly and as safely as we can to get the street back open for everybody," Kent Allmon.

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