Successful placemaking with an iconic new foot/bike bridge

Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma City – Source: okc.gov

It’s not often that communities have a chance to create something new that is truly iconic which also has the chance to become the very symbol of the community. The fact that doing so can also be a placemaking opportunity only sweetens the deal. As this blogpost will show, a number of  cities across the United States have discovered that building iconic new foot and/or bicycle bridges can be an excellent placemaking tool. Each, in its own way, has become a symbolic landmark of the city; a magnet drawing both boastful residents and impressed tourists to see and walk/bike across them.

Golden Gate Bridge – Source: abc7news.com

In the past, historic and monumental bridges like the Golden Gate (San Francisco), the Roebling Suspension (Cincinnati), the Aerial Lift (Duluth), or the Brooklyn (Brooklyn/New York City) were most often seen as being emblematic of a particular city. But, as the eleven bridges identified here show, that’s no longer the case.

Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati – Source: industrialrope.com

The cities listed below decided to forgo mundane functionality when creating their footbridges, and instead opted for inspiring and eye-catching designs that emphasize form over function. It’s noteworthy that more than half of the bridges are from citied in the Great Plains, where a striking bridge design is enhanced by the broad blue skies and sweeping landscapes. Also noteworthy, is the common use of cable-stayed bridge design. While not the only option, they have a distinctive modern appearance and a wonderful tendency to create sleek, amazing nighttime views when lit properly.

Skydance incorporated into city logo – Source: okcchamber.com

These communities have tapped into something you cannot measure on a budget report – they have opted for enhancing community pride and spirit through beautiful and artistic bridge design. Please join me in celebrating each of these electrifying structures.  They are presented in no particular order of preference. Enjoy!

Sundial Bridge in Redding logo – Source: healthyshasta.org

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Skydance Bridge (2012) – impressively designed to resemble Oklahoma’s magnificent State Bird – the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, while capturing the imagination of those viewing from the trail or while driving beneath it on Interstate 40.

Skydance Pedestrian Bridge in Oklahoma City – Source: butzerarchitects.com

Source: statesymbolsusa.com

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Redding, California – Sundial Bridge (2004) – designed as an enormous sundial while spanning the Sacramento River. The bridge is visible for miles and having personally visited it in 2012, it is quite impressive.

Sundial Bridge – Source: oneredding.com

Sundial Bridge – Source: oneredding.com

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Des Moines, Iowa – Center Street Bridge (2010) – a fascinating tied-arch design that separates foot traffic on one side of the arch from bicycle traffic on the opposite side of the arch spacing the Des Moines River.

Source: art.branipick.com

Center Street Bridge in Des Moines’ logo – Source: dsm.city

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Pueblo, Colorado – Veterans’ Bridge (2010)- honoring local veterans from all branches of military service along the city’s peaceful and reflective Historic Arkansas Riverwalk.

Veterans’ Bridge – Source: pinterest.com

Veterans’ Bridge – Source: en.wikipeida.org

Source: waymarking.com

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Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa – Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge (2008) – a fluidic cable-stayed bridge beautifully linking two cities and two states across the Missouri River.

Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge – Source: aisc.org

Source: visitomaha.com

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Davenport, Iowa – Rhythm City Skybridge (2005) – a unique and fascinating span over land not water, and whose name reflects the city’s rich music legacy.

Rhythm City Skybridge – Source: russellco.com

Source: rcreader.com

Skybridge in Davenport logo – Source: qctimes.com

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Wichita, Kansas – Keeper of the Plains Bridges (2007) – beauty and grace connect the mainland to the stunning Keeper of the Plains Statue on an island in the Arkansas River.

Keeper of the Plains – Source: pinterest.com

Spirit of the Plains Bridges – Source: aceadventurer.com

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Reiman Pedestrian Bridge (2001) – artistry and function in one linked structure connecting the Milwaukee Museum of Art to downtown.

Reiman Pedestrian Bridge – Source: istockphoto.com

Source: solaripedia.com

Reiman Bridge in Visit Milwaukee logo – Source: visitmilwaukee.org

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Dublin, Ohio – Dublin Link (2020) – a graceful source of community pride and a trail link across the Olentangy River into downtown Dublin.

Source: tylin.com

Source: dublinohiousa.gov

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Amsterdam,New York – Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge (2016) – a scenic place to gather and to inspire while overlooking the Mohawk River.

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge – Source: timesunion.com

Mohawk Valley Gateway Bridge in Amsterdam’s logo – Source: amsterdamny.gov

Source: bsces.org

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Greenville, South Carolina – Liberty Bridge at Reedy Falls Park (2004) – a placemaking overlook of an urban waterfall and park in the very heart of the city.

Source: gvltoday.6am.com

Source: 123rf.com

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SOURCES:

  • bridgehunter.com
  • structurae.com
  • en.wikipedia.org
  • individual bridge websites and sites listed below each photograph
This entry was posted in Active transportation, architecture, art, bicycling, bike sharing, Biking, branding, bridges, cities, civics, culture, downtown, economic development, entertainment, fun, geography, government, health, hiking, infrastructure, land use, pictures, placemaking, planning, product design, recreation, revitalization, rivers/watersheds, skylines, Statistics, technology, third places, topography, tourism, trails, transportation, Travel, urban design, urban planning, walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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