Grand Avenue Park Bridge
The new bridge solves a complicated sequence of grade-changes and utility needs in an unlikely new form that weaves pedestrian ramps and stairs above, around, and inside a sloping truss, presenting an inviting new crossing from Grand Avenue Park to the waterfront district. Across its 78-meter span, the bridge carries major utilities while navigating a network of existing electrical lines, a five-lane highway, and the train tracks at the base of a 24-meter-tall steep slope, all while preserving views from the park above. The design is pragmatic and economical. The truss form responds directly to its programmatic needs while recalling the form and character of traditional railroad trusses found across the Pacific Northwest. The structural elements are constructed of weathering steel, a raw form of steel, which uses rust to form a protective layer, providing corrosion resistance and enhancing the bridge’s long-term maintainability. The bridge’s iconic presence is rooted in the unexpected formal juxtaposition of muscular and delicate, rustic, and refined, symmetrical and asymmetrical, inside and out. By embracing a creative pragmatic approach, the design addresses both functional and aesthetic demands, weaving urban infrastructure into the life of the city and becoming a catalyst for continued community revitalization.