Caps Planned for High and Third Street Bridges South of Downtown
A key design feature has been added to the new High and Third Street Bridges that will eventually span I-70 south of Downtown as part of the I-70/71 split project. The new bridges will feature caps that will have the capacity to hold buildings, just like the I-670 cap that connects the Short North to Downtown. The caps would be built initially as “green caps” with park-like features, unless a private developer steps up with a plan to build on them.
The new bridge designs were unveiled during a March 19th meeting put on by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Chris Hermann of project consultant MKSK explained that a number of factors have aligned since the last major public meeting in early 2012, when bridges without caps were presented.
“With the continued resurgence of the River South area, and the improved economy, the different stakeholders realized the potential,” he said, adding that ODOT was always ready to accommodate caps, but additional funding from the City of Columbus and MORPC was needed to make them happen. “All of these designs and improvements, as well as the improvements to the urban avenues are made possible by the great partnership between ODOT, the City of Columbus, and MORPC.”
Also presented at the meeting were plans for the Front Street Bridge featuring a green walkway meant to serve as a gateway to Downtown, and a Fourth Street Bridge with wide sidewalks and planters. The Front and High Street Bridges are scheduled for funding in 2017 (as part of Phase 4A of the larger I-70/71 split project), and the Third and Fourth Street Bridges are not scheduled for funding until 2023 (as part of Phase 4B).
Nancy Burton of ODOT explained that the possibility is being left open for more caps in the future.
“All the bridges throughout the corridor will be built with the infrastructure or the foundation to support a cap that’s a wider deck for a building or buildings should a developer come forward,” she stated.
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All renderings provided by MKSK Design / ODOT.