Rich Street Bridge over the Scioto River
The Rich Street Bridge in Columbus, Ohio will replace a deteriorating historic concrete arch with a modern open-rib arch structure. The bridge is one of three crossing the Scioto River in the city's historic Civic Center. The site is bordered by monumental and historic civic buildings like the Ohio Judicial Building and Columbus' City Hall, and with contemporary structures like the Central Ohio Science Museum. The bridge will lie between the Discovery Bridge, a five span deck arch completed in the early 1990's in a traditional style, and the ultra-contemporary Main Street Bridge, a three span bridge with a tilted through arch in the long center span, now under construction. Community leaders asked that the new bridge complement the adjoining bridges and form a “family” of arch bridges while respecting the architectural character of the Civic Center.
The proposed bridge will be a 5-span, 563 foot long structure supported on four lines of concrete arches. The spaces above the four piers are left completely open. The ribs are tapered in accordance with structural needs to minimize their thickness. Observers will be able to see right through the bridge from most angles. The sides of the ribs will be split into two sloped planes. The upper one facing the sky will reflect more light and the bottom one facing the water less, so that the arches will have two facets of different brightness. This will make the ribs appear even thinner. Railings and other architectural details will be modern in style reflecting the design of the Central Ohio Science Institute and other recent buildings in the Civic Center. The bridge will be lighted at night using colors similar to the Discovery and Main Street Bridges.
The bridge will have the span arrangement and general shape of the Discovery bridge while having the open contemporary appearance of the new Main Street bridge, and will share the lighting scheme of both, thereby making the three bridges truly a Family of Bridges, as evident in the nighttime as it is during the day.