Project DescriptionAt an overall length of 1938 feet, the Hastings Bridge includes a 545 feet free standing tied arch main span, which is the longest span of its type in North America. The project was completed in May 2013 and was developed using an innovative methodology that incorporated the community’s vision with the Department of Transportation’s need to create a new Mississippi crossing that could stand with minimal maintenance for more than 100 years.
The team responded by transforming the bridge program into a unique vision of civic art with nature. The design team acknowledged that public spaces make cities work. Planning for parks and promenades, places that people love, would invigorate and reinvent this town’s presence on a very busy transportation artery. The pulse of the city could be extended into experiences on grade, at edges and above the water. From tiny parks and viewing niches to a National Forest they would connect people places along the bridge’s promenade, and make the total bridge experience a moveable feast; a series of destinations.
Taking initiative for such a transformation required putting people first so that they would visually and experientially cash-in on the extraordinary aesthetic beauty of the nature in their midst. Parks, and even car parking, would become an extension of the urban fabric under the bridge: from bank to bank to the unused flat areas under the bridge or in vistas carved into a waterfront wall; the design reached for a new connectivity of past, future and present. The design team gave the city a landmark bridge; but more importantly they created a new urban experience with parks and waterfronts as the magnets to revitalize their city.