A planned pedestrian bridge in Huntsville, Ala., designed by Beacon Hill bridge architect, Miguel Rosales, was recently awarded a $20 million federal grant to fund its near-term construction.
“It is rewarding that one of my bridge projects has received a $20 million dollar grant as part of the 2022 RAISE national transportation grant program,” said Rosales, president and founder of the Boston-based architectural firm, Rosales + Partners. “The elegant suspension bridge will have a unique configuration with three inclined towers in a curvilinear alignment and it will be the first of its kind in the United States. The bridge will connect isolated neighborhoods to the city’s downtown and cross over several highways. I am hopeful that it will become a new symbol of the city and a source of community pride in the same way that the Zakim bridge has become a contemporary symbol of Boston. I am looking forward to its timely completion with the support of our client, the City of Huntsville.”
The proposed Huntsville Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge will be a multi-span bridge in downtown Huntsville, Ala., that connects the Von Braun Civic Center and the Lowe Mills ARTS Center and adjacent residential neighborhoods. It will comprise a series of inclined towers in “visual balance with the overall curvature of the bridge alignment,” according to a description of the project on Rosales + Partners website. The bridge, which will be visible from a distance and mark the location of Huntsville’s downtown and city core, will span “several highways and future canals that will be enhanced and landscaped in the future as part of an overall plan to reconnect several [surrounding] areas.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which administered the grant: “This project will design and construct multimodal improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians on approximately 1.2 miles of the Pedestrian Access and Redevelopment Corridor (PARC) linking downtown Huntsville to neighborhoods that are physically isolated by US 231/431, Governors Drive, and the Pinhook Creek. This includes a cable-suspended pedestrian bridge over US 431/US 231 and Governors Drive, three pedestrian bridges over Pinhook Creek and Huntsville Spring Branch, replacement of a railroad bridge, and flood mitigation measures.”
This project’s goals, according to DOT, include “[addressing] physical barriers for disadvantaged neighborhoods caused by highways and the creek, and [providing more transportation options to employment opportunities, while reducing emissions and improving safety,” as well as focus extensively on promoting “environmental justice” and “racial equity.”
“The project also replaces the timber rail bridge to improve the movement of goods, address flood mitigation, and provide better access to employment for residents,” according to DOT. “The flood mitigation components address current vulnerabilities, prevent future transportation interruption, and support [Huntsville’s] emergency management goals.”
Closer to home, two Massachusetts projects were awarded grants via the highly competitive 2022 RAISE national transportation grant program – a $20,250,00 grant for the Lynnway Multimodal Corridor, with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT) as the applicant; and a $20 million grant for the Roxbury Resilient Transportation Corridors, with the City of Boston as the applicant.