a pedestrian bridge that will connect a new park with the US olympic & paralympic museum, and the rest of downtown colorado springs, has been lifted into position. designed by diller scofidio + renfro (DS+R), who also completed the adjacent museum, the structure measures 250 feet (72 meters) in length and weighs 550 US tons (499 metric tons). the bridge was hoisted into the air and driven across the railroad using self-propelled modular transporters before being placed onto its abutments. the event was completed in an eight-hour window during which all trains transiting through colorado springs were held in place. on-site work will continue through the winter before the bridge opens to the public in early 2021.

diller scofidio renfro colorado
image by dan oldfield (also main image)

 

 

designed by the same team as the US olympic & paralympic museum complex — DS+R, anderson mason dale, and KL&A — the bridge takes its inspiration from the gravity-defying motion of athletes, with a curved steel structure that floats above the railyard. two interlocked loops, stretching from either side of the railyard, connect the museum and the park. visitors will pass through an oculus that frames views of the museum and the park’s penrose fountain.

 

placement timelapse | video courtesy of the city of colorado springs

 

 

the bridge will establish a pedestrian gateway from the west into downtown and connect to the museum, while stitching together a growing network of pedestrian bicycle paths. 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 bridge is an exercise in fitness — both in terms of material and geometry,’ says benjamin gilmartin, DS+R partner-in-charge and lead designer. ‘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.’

 

diller scofidio renfro colorado
image courtesy of the city of colorado springs

 

 

‘the bridge, from idea to execution, represents how colorado springs is coming together to further create a city that matches its scenery,’ adds john suthers, mayor of colorado springs. ‘born of public and private visioning and cooperation, it will link east and west, people and parks, downtown and surrounds. investment in the redevelopment of southwest downtown is creating an urban destination that residents and visitors alike will enjoy well into the future.’

diller scofidio renfro colorado
image by dan oldfield

 

 

prior to arriving in colorado springs this summer, the bridge was manufactured in houston by king fabrication. the bridge underwent wind tunnel testing to meet suspension bridge requirements. in june 2020, construction company kiewit began work to complete on-the-ground assembly and prepare the bridge for placement on its abutments.

diller scofidio renfro colorado
image by dan oldfield

 

 

close coordination with the BNSF railway facilitated suspending railroad operations in the region for an eight-hour window to transport the entire length of the bridge, which was hoisted on risers, driven across the railroad, and placed onto its abutments. final bridge finishes and construction of the elevator and staircase will take place this winter before opening to the public in early 2021.

 

drone footage | video courtesy of the city of colorado springs

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
image by jason o’rear

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
image by jason o’rear

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
fabrication | image by ericah thomas

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
fabrication | image by ericah thomas

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
wind testing with a scale aeroelastic model | image courtesy of arup

diller scofidio + renfro to connect colorado springs with curved steel pedestrian bridge
wind testing with a scale aeroelastic model | image courtesy of arup

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: southwest downtown pedestrian bridge
location: colorado springs, CO, USA
status: commissioned 2014, fabricated may 2019 – may 2020, anticipated completion 2021

 

project team —
design architects: diller scofidio + renfro
executive architect: anderson mason dale architects
structural engineer: arup
structural engineer (bridge abutments): KL&A
railroad consultant: felsburg holt & ullevig
steel fabricator: king fabrication
general contractor: kiewit construction
lighting: tillotson design
railroad consultant: FUHueng
onsite inspector: terracon

 

dimensions —
length: 250 feet (72m)
height: 25 feet (7.6m) above ground level
height from deck to top of arch: 17 feet (5.2m)
width: 16 – 23 feet (4.9 – 7m)
weight: 550 US tons (499 metric tons)
no. of sections: 6
total cost: $20m USD

 

materials —
shell: painted structural steel
liner: painted metal panels
deck: concrete
stainless steel cable mesh
comfort rail with integrated lighting
elevator: glass