Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New bridge design for Los Angeles rail

Image courtesy of  Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension

I'm not sure I like it, because the 3D render is not helping, it looks more like an illustration. But, anyway, I'm anxious to see the development of this original design for a freeway's bridge.
From Greg Aragon's post:
Traditional art and modern-day seismic technology will join in an iconic structure to be built as part of the first phase of the $735-million, 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension in Los Angeles County. Last month, the Foothill Extension Construction Authority unveiled the winning design for an $18.6-million bridge over the 210 freeway in Arcadia that will also sport "smart column" seismic-assessment wiring.
Dubbed the "Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley," the 584-ft-long bridge is scheduled to be completed next summer. It is the first phase of the overall Gold Line's Pasadena-to-Azusa light-rail extension, which broke ground in August 2010 and is scheduled to finish in 2015.
"We started the design process with an artist's concept paying homage to the region's historic Native American basket-weaving tradition," says Habib F. Balian, CEO of the Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the entity in charge of building the line from downtown Los Angeles to the eastern county line, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley.
The unique design was created by award-winning public artist Andrew Leicester, who was selected through an international competition seeking a signature bridge facade that would best embody the San Gabriel Valley. His winning idea features two prominent "basket" columns as well as the superstructure's serpentine-like underbelly.
Leicester says he researched the area and discovered an ancient trade route used by Native Americans that paralleled the 210 Freeway.
"The Tongva [tribe] were the earliest dwellers in this area, and they are famous to this day for their skill in basket making," says Leicester, who was born in England and has created public art projects throughout the U.S., U.K. and Australia. "I thought this was a good opportunity to wrap the columns in an ornamental sheathing and basket textile patterns as an attractive way to disguise the columns."

Image from
Rebar for one of the columns rises from the ground. Picture by Walt Mancini.

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