COLORADO SPRINGS– A 250-foot pedestrian bridge that will connect America the Beautiful Park with downtown Colorado Springs was hoisted into the air, driven across the railroad and placed onto its abutments on Monday.
This masterfully orchestrated event was completed in an eight-hour window during which all trains transiting through Colorado Springs were held in place to complete the move.
Renderings courtesy of Diller Scofidio and Renfro.
On-site work will continue through the winter before the bridge opens to the public in early 2021, weather and construction dependent.
“The bridge, from idea to execution, represents how Colorado Springs is coming together to further create a city that matches its scenery. Born of public and private visioning and cooperation, it will link east and west, people and parks, downtown and surrounds,” said Mayor John Suthers. “Investment in the redevelopment of southwest downtown is creating an urban destination that residents and visitors alike will enjoy well into the future.”
The iconic $20 million dollar bridge, which has been envisioned in the downtown master plan for decades, is one of two key public infrastructure projects central to redeveloping southwest downtown.
The second infrastructure project, a streetscape that aims to transform Vermijo Avenue into a wide, pedestrian and business-friendly “Signature Street,” is scheduled to open later in October.
Designed by the same team as the adjacent U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum complex, Diller Scofidio and Renfro, Anderson Mason Dale, and KL&A, the new pedestrian bridge takes its inspiration from the gravity-defying motion of athletes, with a 250-foot curved steel structure that floats above the railyard. Two interlocked loops, stretching from either side of the railyard, connect the museum and the park.
DS+R Partner-in-Charge and Lead Designer Benjamin Gilmartin noted, “The bridge is an exercise in fitness – both in terms of material and geometry. The hybrid steel structure system functions as an arch and a truss, elegantly preserving views from Downtown to the majestic Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak- America’s Mountain.”
The bridge also stitches together a growing network of pedestrian bicycle paths including the Pikes Peak Greenway and Midland Trail running alongside Monument Creek.
Design elements include an elevator, staircase, ADA and bike-friendly accommodations with bicycle wells and an overlook at the west end of the bridge.
The Southwest Downtown Pedestrian Bridge will cost approximately $20 million, which includes future construction of the stairwell, landing and elevator.
- Regional Tourism Act (City for Champions) bond funds = $8,000,000
- PPRTA = $4,600,000
- SW BID = $7,200,000
- Johnson Family Donation = $200,000