Friday, August 6, 2010

Bridges of Cuyahoga County

The finalists selected for the design of the new Innerbelt Bridge into downtown Cleveland were released this morning. In keeping with the absurdity of their department's policies, ODOT has given interested citizens nine whole days to provide their input on how they'd like their city skyline to look for the next 50 years. The three designs vary considerably, and each has its own positives and negatives (except for B, keep reading). You can link here for pdf's of each.

This is from Bridge Proposal C, a shot looking downtown (you can vaguely see Jacobs Field behind). I really like the modern look of this span, unfortunately it's only over this section that we see the suspension effect. The rest of the bridge seems inordinately bland:
Bridge B is terrible, an affront to anyone driving, looking, or living within 100 miles of it. The premise seems (to me) to be, let's build a bridge that shows absolutely no continuity with the existing bridges (see the blue Lorain/Carnegie bridge behind) and is utterly lacking in any aesthetically definable feature.
I'm very torn about Bridge A; on the whole its appearance is the most compelling, and the interior lighting at night is beautiful. On the other hand, it doesn't have the striking design component of Bridge C.
If I were to fathom a guess, public opinion in this relatively un-progressive burg will favor Bridge A (and remember, I'm basing this solely on the released renderings, all other factors unconsidered). What will actually be constructed is anyone's guess, but with our string of luck in the CLE, it will wind up looking like the ugly stepchild of Bridge B, while Bridges A and C will be built in Miami.

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