Magnificent Metal Monday – Park Union Pedestrian Bridge a “Work of Wonder”

Recognized by Architectural Digest as a 2022 Work of Wonder, this winning project also won first place in the 2022 MCA Design Awards for the Single-Skin Metal Wall Panel category, as announced at METALCON in October. Spanning 250 feet over an active railyard, the Park Union Pedestrian Bridge in Colorado Springs, Colorado, connects visitors to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum with America the Beautiful Park. According to the MCA Design Award judges, “This pedestrian, bike, and wheelchair-friendly bridge looks like a sculpture, truly an outstanding level of craftsmanship.”

MCA member company, MG McGrath, was recognized at METALCON for their work on the project. They made a custom flat and curved panel system of aluminum plate material with a 3-coat fluoropolymer (FLOOR-o-POLLY-mer) finish. Several panels feature a double-curved geometry. Nearly 2,000 square feet of these panels were installed on the interior bridge near the deck and around the oculus. The metal panel system was designed and engineered to withstand wind and live loads and to accommodate the movement of the bridge. 

The design features two interlocking loops of steel that arch over the bridge to form an oculus (OCK-you-lus) that frames the surrounding mountainous landscape. The steel structure also functions as a truss, with stainless steel cables and a concrete deck. Stairs wrap around a glass elevator, connecting the bridge to the park at ground level. 

Lead Designer Benjamin Gilmartin of Diller Scofidio + Render noted, “The bridge is an exercise in fitness – both in terms of material and geometry. Taking inspiration from the gravity-defying motion of athletes, the hybrid steel structure system functions as an arch and a truss, elegantly preserving views from Downtown to the majestic mountain ranges of Pike’s Peak.” (Source: Colorado

At night, the bridge lights up, making the walkway accessible into the evening. In addition to connecting the museum to the park, the bridge connects pedestrians and cyclists to local pathways like Pikes Peak Greenway and Midland Trail.

MCA Member Company: MG McGrath
Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro 
Metal Installer: MG McGrath 
Contractor: Kiewit Corporation

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