One of my favorite architectural disciplines is bridge design. From the Roman aqueducts to the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s fascinating to see how various generations and cultures use engineering to close the gap between two points for the betterment of their society.
Here in the Mile High City the need for bridge construction is sparse and generally speaking, the bridges we do have are designed with restraint and purely utilitarian (i.e. road bridge over Cherry Creek). Sometimes, however, we get lucky!
The Highland Bridge, a pedestrian only by-way connecting the Lower Highlands with the Central Platte Valley, is a great addition to our burgeoning town for a couple of reasons:
First, I love the look of the triangular exoskeleton twisting its way over I-25. The modern white frame is clean and crisp contrasting nicely with Denver’s bright blue sky. Not only is it a visually appealing monument for traveling pedestrians it also looks great from the car when passing underneath on I-25.
Secondly, in my opinion, the Highland Bridge was pivotal in the resurgence of LoHi. Prior to its construction, individuals would have to circulate up the steep and narrow 15th Street bridge or walk a half mile to the other side of the neighborhood to use 20th Street. Neither of the options were convenient or particularly safe. With the bridge’s completion, pedestrians may now easily navigate their way from LoHi via walking paths all the way to Union Station.
Sometimes it’s the seemingly mundane essentials that have the opportunity to make the greatest impact. I like the careful consideration given not only to the bridge's functionality but also its visual impact on the surrounding area.