16 Tech Community Corp. in Indianapolis has unveiled what it says is a first-of-its-kind design for a signature bridge. The organization says the bridge will connect the 16 Tech Innovation District to the city’s downtown research and medical corridor.
Plans for the bridge, estimated to cost more than $20 million, have been in the works for more than two years.
In December 2020, the nonprofit selected Germany-based schlaich bergermann (sbp) and Practice for Architecture and Urbanism in New York to lead the design effort, which also included collaboration with Moniteurs Communication Design, Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), Shrewsberry & Associates, CTL Engineering, Circle Design Group and People for Urban Progress (PUP).
16 Tech says the wave-like design for the bridge is a reinterpretation of the classic suspension bridge and is achieved by replacing the standard vertical masts with multiple, smaller masts arranged in a fan shape. It also features flat steel plates as the main supports instead of traditional suspension cables.
The bridge will feature protected pathways for pedestrians and cyclists that are separated from vehicular traffic. It also curves outward on its eastern edge, which 16 Tech says will create a cantilevered gathering space suspended over Fall Creek.
“The design team combined engineering, design thinking, and thoughtful community engagement to create a truly iconic and inclusive centerpiece for Indianapolis,” said Emily Krueger, chief operating officer of 16 Tech Community Corp. “The 16 Tech bridge showcases the innovation at the heart of 16 Tech and continues to enhance the connectivity of our city.”
In addition to connecting the innovation district to the downtown research and medical corridor, the bridge is designed to link the district with the city’s wider trail and greenway network.
16 Tech expects the bridge to be complete by the end of 2023 or early 2024.