The City of Colorado Springs kicked off Independence Day weekend by opening Park Union Bridge to the public, following a ribbon cutting ceremony. This pedestrian gateway connects America the Beautiful Park to downtown Colorado Springs. Designed by the same team as the adjacent U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum complex, the Park Union Bridge takes its inspiration from the gravity-defying motion of athletes, with a 250-foot curved steel structure that floats above an active railyard. Two interlocked loops, stretching from either side of the railyard, connect the museum and America the Beautiful Park. 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 mountain ranges of Pikes Peak.
The bridge stitches together a growing network of pedestrian bicycle paths including the Pikes Peak Greenway and Midland Trail running alongside Monument Creek, with a generous width that safely accommodates pedestrians and cyclists alike. At its widest point, an oculus at either side of the bridge frames the museum and downtown to the east, a platform for trainspotting below, and a distinct look out to the Rocky Mountains to the west. In the evenings, lighting along the bridge traces a single vector from one side of the tracks to the other, giving a sense of speed and motion while providing illumination for pedestrians and cyclists.
DS+R Partner-in-Charge Benjamin Gilmartin noted: "We were thrilled to witness members of the Colorado Springs community take ownership of this unique bridge, not just as a means of connecting point A to B, but as a new landmark. Families paused at the oculus to take in views of the museum, the park and the majestic mountain ranges of Pikes Peak. Cyclists gliding along its 250-foot length reached out to touch its smooth curving steel arch. And on this special Independence Day weekend, visitors marveled not only at the trains they were hovering above, but at an amazing display of fireworks in the distance."
"The bridge takes us places physically from downtown Colorado Springs and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum over a river or railroad tracks, to a beautiful park at the confluence of two creeks in a majestic view of Pikes Peak," commented Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. "It unites a city and a park, and I confidently predict it will be among the most iconic and most photographed landmarks in Olympic City USA."