Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park Pedestrian Bridge
Buffalo Bridge Competition
One of four competition finalists, this proposed pedestrian bridge would provide a new central connection between both sides of the planned Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park in Buffalo, NY, spanning over the I-190 highway and an Amtrak rail line. The bridge is diagonally positioned over both of these elements, and has a slightly curved profile, following a radius of approximately 1,000 ft.
In total, the bridge consists of three spans: a large 350-ft main span, and two smaller 35-ft end spans. Combined with two small overhangs on both sides, the bridge totals 430 ft in length.
The bridge’s unique and singular design was inspired by the geometry of the site. The asymmetry in elevation is a result of the park-side landing being higher than the city-side landing, and combines two different geometries: the form is more geometric and orthogonal as it approaches the city, and more organic as it approaches the park. The fusion of these two geometries is what creates the bridge’s distinctive profile.
The width of the bridge varies from 12 to 24 ft, being wider at the entrance to the park, and its structure is perceivable at a human scale. Together with the subtle yet dynamic curve of the path, the design ensures that the experience of traversing the bridge is unique in either direction, and reinforces the notion of the bridge “spilling” onto the lake and the recreational area of the park. The slightly curved plan shape also yields long sightlines, preserving pedestrians’ feeling of safety and security.
LERA Consulting Structural Engineers
Anta Ingenieria Civil (Spain)
ALFA POLARIS (Spain)