It’s a rare bridge that has the privilege of being blessed, but there aren’t a lot of bridges that connect to Jesuit-led universities.

The pedestrian bridge crosses the North Freeway from Creighton University to The Atlas, an apartment complex that will open for business soon. The 732-unit Atlas was created out of the old Creighton University Medical Center.

The Atlas is a project of NuStyle Development, which has numerous apartment complexes across Omaha.

“We ask you to bless this symbol of unity,” the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, president of Creighton, prayed. “Lead us in our efforts to strengthen the community.”

On Thursday, Creighton allowed board members, city leaders including Mayor Jean Stothert, and others to gaze at the 560-foot-long bridge and walk across it if they wished.

They were stopped at the west end of the bridge, where The Atlas is being finished. Creighton expects to receive its certificate of occupancy for the bridge from the City of Omaha this month.

Campus architect Coale Johnson said that when the bridge opens, the public will have access from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Small gutters are on the side of the stairs on the Creighton end so that bicyclists may walk their two-wheelers down the steps.

There will also be an elevator in Creighton’s tower. The bridge will be accessible to the public on each end.

The bridge is roughly at 27th Street and Wareham Parkway. It rises 40 to 50 feet over the freeway, depending on the grade below.

And as of Thursday, it is officially blessed.

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