West End Pedestrian Bridge over the Ohio River
In 2006 Pittsburgh's River Life Task Force sponsored an international competition for a pedestrian bridge adjoining the existing West End Bridge. The bridge will fill a gap in a trail system along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers that encircles the Golden Triangle. Mr. Gottemoeller led one of six teams invited to enter the competition.
The team proposed two new parks on underused industrial land on each side of the river. The parks provide landing points for the new bridge and destinations where people from the adjoining neighborhoods can come to throw a ball, fish or hang out with their neighbors. A low, thin suspension bridge connects the two parks. Its cable is supported by a high pylon to the east of the West End Bridge and by a low pylon at its north pier. The new bridge stays at a minimum height above the water and ramps gradually down to shore level on each end, so it is easy to cross. On the south side the bridge branches to connect to a new trail inboard of existing railroad tracks. The decks of the bridge and its branching ramps are streamlined steel box girders. The interconnected girders will stabilize the bridge even with its world record main span. The pylon also supports a fabric sculpture made of Tenara fiber netting.
The pylon, cable and sculpture create a dramatic shape that draws the eyes of Golden Triangle viewers and brings people to the new bridge. The sculpture will be a mesmerizing presence above the ramps, waving slowly in the breeze and reflecting colors of varying intensities. The new bridge stands next to but independent of the West End Bridge. It puts the West End Bridge on display, like a dancer showing off his partner.