16 Tech CEO: Bridge project has greater meaning
The CEO of 16 Tech Community Corp. in Indianapolis says last week’s groundbreaking for a multi-million-dollar bridge connecting the 16 Tech Innovation District to the city’s burgeoning health and life sciences corridor is much bigger than an infrastructure project.
The structure itself is billed as the first of its kind in the United States, a bridge that will have more room for people than cars and serve as a new signature piece to showcase the downtown Indianapolis skyline.
“The project that we’re breaking ground on…solidifies the fact that 16 Tech is a part of our downtown ecosystem,” Emily Krueger told Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Krueger said connecting the district to the new IU Indianapolis and Purdue Indianapolis campuses will also be critical to the state’s talent attraction efforts.
“The connection between IU Indianapolis and Purdue in Indianapolis cannot be underestimated in terms of its importance to 16 Tech. We’re creating a connection to our research assets, two of our tier one research universities who have incredible strengths, and there are two of six universities that have a presence right now in 16. Tech,” Krueger said.
She added it is important to have places where students can interact with industry to help further their academic success.
“It also helps show what a great place Indianapolis is not just to go to school, but to stay and a depth of opportunities that are here that can shape one’s career,” Krueger said.
A part of what makes the bridge unique is its design. The 342-foot-long suspension bridge won’t have the rope-like cables typically seen with structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Instead, the cables will be replaced with flat steel plates.
Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of New York-based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, which designed the bridge along with Germany-based schlaich bergermann, said the bridge will be completely unique to Indy.
“There are very few American cities that have kind of this extraordinarily like verdant bucolic landscape where you can be nestled in a creek with trees around and you barely see or hear the city,” Chakrabarti said. “It’s extraordinary, and so we wanted the bridge to celebrate that.”
Construction of the bridge is expected to be completed in summer 2024.