Tallahassee bridge construction plans near completion

Photo by: JhaRonte James

Leon County Blueprint 2000 will cast a rebid for the construction of a connector bridge over South Monroe St.

After the success of the College Town, Cascades Park and the Gaines St. advancement, the Downtown Improvement Authority is anticipating the inception of this pedestrian bridge.

Allen Thompson, director of Downtown Experience noted what the bridge will represent in the communtiy.

“We’re really excited about this bridge,” said Thompson. “It’s a gateway to downtown. A lot of communities – especially in Florida – have gateway arches.”

Thompson said the bridge will connect Leon High School, Florida A&M, and Florida State University. The bridge is an extension of the Capital Cascades Trail, which is 1,150 feet, expanding from Gadsden St. to South Adams St., it will stand parallel to CSX Railroad crossing. The bridge itself will be 160 feet across and a height of 17.5 feet.

“There’s a vibrant commercial community at the corner of Lake Bradford and Eugenia St., that I think can really thrive with this additional access,” Thompson said. “This is going to be a real success story for that whole corridor.”

Four years ago, Blueprint began the concept for a connector bridge over South Monroe St. The pedestrian bridge will be an extension of Cascades Park, which connects toward FAMU Way.

The bridge design has had a great deal of public input, and will be completely unique; however, Charles Hargraves, manager at Blueprint 2000, said design challenges and permits are delaying the start of construction

The bridge will be comprised of nano-technology, featuring motion sensor lights and LED lights that change color – depending on which home University is playing.

Hargraves added that it would also feature “supposedly self cleaning concrete” the concrete also cleans pollution from the air.

He said technology isn’t what’s slowing down the bridge construction, but  the “design criteria that had to be addressed with engineers at FIGG, DOT [Department of Transportation], and City of Tallahassee” is.

Lashaya Pierce, a frequent visitor at Cascades Park, said the bridge’s planned features will greatly benefit the Tallahassee community.