SPOKANE, Wash. – Construction on the University District Gateway Bridge near Washington State University’s Spokane campus began Monday.

The new bridge will connect the academic portion of the university district to the south part, across the railroad tracks. This will provide access to retail, housing and give students another option for traveling to school.

The new bridge will feature a large arch. City of Spokane representatives said it will be 120 feet tall and become a new staple of the Spokane skyline.

“It’ll become a new iconic feature in our downtown core. It does a lot of things for our community. It really makes a statement about how important our education district is to us, and it really brings people together. It’s about connecting our community,” said Marlene Feist with the City of Spokane.

The City said the project has been in the works for a decade and is finally becoming a reality. City officials expect the construction to take 18 months.

The City told KREM 2 they have to slow the process during the fourth quarter of the year because there is often heavier train traffic then. That means the completed bridge can be expected late summer or early fall of 2018.