High Street Cap over I-670 Praised by Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic
- October 27, 2011 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #88833Quote:Ohio highway cap at forefront of urban design trend; retail complex atop Columbus expressway offers model for Chicago
COLUMBUS, Ohio — As they stroll between two buildings that echo the grandeur of Daniel Burnham’s demolished Union Station here, pedestrians can easily forget that they are walking over a bridge that spans a sunken interstate highway.
But that’s what happens at the retail complex called the Cap at Union Station (left), where the classically styled buildings flank what looks like — but isn’t — a typical city street.
The innovative project, which opened in 2004, put Columbus at the forefront of a national trend: Covering sunken freeways with caps, decks, land bridges or lids, as they are called, and using the found space to reconnect neighborhoods that were torn apart by the national highway building binge of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Split Fix should be doing more of this.October 27, 2011 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #467249
Cool, nice article! That’s an old photo – Functional Furnishings is still there…October 27, 2011 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #467250
I agree. I’d like to see the entire “Split Fix” become a lid…call it the Big Cap (kinda like Boston’s Big Dig) and be done with it. The city could reclaim all that space for parkland or development that loops around the city…October 27, 2011 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #467251
Chicago Studies the Innovative I-670 Highway Cap in Columbus
While it’s exciting to see Columbus used as a benchmark for innovative urban planning solutions, we unfortunately are hesitant to follow our own lead and recreate our own successes. The ongoing redevelopment of Interstates 70 and 71 through the eastern and southern borders of Downtown will see decorative improvements and caps for greenspace, but no additional retail space or private development at this point in time. A rendering of the renovated Long Street bridge (below) shows that only the south side of Long Street will see a green cap, while the north side of Long Street will not.October 27, 2011 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #467252
^That would be very nice, but might be on the expensive side. Doing every street would still be a huge improvement, but think how well it would connect downtown to all the surrounding neighborhoods. It just has to be done. It should be a requirement in the project purpose and need statement.October 27, 2011 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #467253
Just can’t beat you.October 27, 2011 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #467254October 27, 2011 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #467255
Does anyone know if the Split Fix is providing the required ability to convert to caps at a later date?October 27, 2011 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #467256
^yes, I have heard they are engineered to support caps at a later time. I am a big fan of the High St cap, that area already had dense retail development. I really think there will be more as downtown retail and dining expands and probably should be being built near German Village.
The current green ‘park’ and benches do seem like weak sauce.October 27, 2011 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #467257
Does anyone know if the Split Fix is providing the required ability to convert to caps at a later date?
They are, but I’ve not heard anything about ODOT contributing funds for a public-private partnership at a later date (as was the case with the build out of the High Street Cap over 670).
If the future caps are expected to be 100% private development, I’m not sure if we’ll see them actualized anytime soon.
I’d argue that this type of development is infrastructure improvements, so public dollars should be applicable, though I’m willing to bet that the current ODOT Director and State Administration would not agree with that. They’ve been very adamant about spending ODOT’s funds in a fiscally conservative manner despite having the largest budget ever and spending only a quarter of it on maintaining existing roads.October 27, 2011 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #467258
To my knowledge, the proposed ‘caps’ are NOT designed to be ‘building’ ready. But you will hear a different response from public officials.
There are certain requirements when designing a cap to make it capable of supporting and servicing buildings. Not only do the bridges need to be constructed to support the weight of a structure – electricity, plumbing, etc. all need to be considered prior to completing the surface decks. The last design discussion I was aware of – ODOT wanted to save costs by not preparing the deck with such functions.
What does this mean?? If a developer in the future is interested in constructing another building on top – the entire deck surface will need to be removed and additional structural and mechanical enhancements will be needed. This will also require the interstate to be closed to perform. Might scare potential developers off if this is the case….
Seems if the City/State are really serious about developing future ‘Cap’s’ they’d want do it right the first time. The current parties involved in the potential development of the bridges were not involved in the High St. Cap. No fault to them – but those involved just don’t know all the intricacies that went into developing the High St. Cap.October 27, 2011 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #467259
Sometimes we’re innovative. Sometimes we’re really stupid. The 70/71 Split Fix is heavily stupid, in it’s current incarnation.October 27, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #467260
Twixlen: Well to late to change it.
Back to the story and all of that, I honestly think we need more investment into the highway caps. I think we need companies to step up, now before the construction starts on Phase 2-3October 28, 2011 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #467261
While I love the idea of caps to reconnect the East Side with downtown, there is already so much good vacant retail space along key corridors like Main and Long streets that it’s hard to make the case for building more. At least from a economic standpoint.
It’s a catch 22 really. Without some robust retail development in Near East on Main or Long, there’s no financial incentive to build caps (like there was with High St, to connect the Convention Center with Short North). But without the caps, reconnecting the Near East with downtown is that much more difficult (especially with the new high traffic/high speed feeder streets that pedestrians will be expected to cross), hence no robust retail development in Near East.October 28, 2011 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #467262
While I love the idea of caps to reconnect the East Side with downtown, there is already so much good vacant retail space along key corridors like Main and Long streets that it’s hard to make the case for building more.
When the 670 cap was originally being planned there were quite a few underdeveloped spots in the immediate vicinity as well.
The forum ‘Development’ is closed to new topics and replies.