Veteran's Bridge at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo
Matrix was selected to lead an extremely talented consulting team that included Chroma Design for bridge aesthetics and Design Studios West for landscape architecture. Additional design support was provided by the City and County of Pueblo, the Urban Renewal Authority, the Veterans Council, the ADA, the HARP Foundation, and the HARP Authority. For the design of this benchmark structure, the direction of the design team was rooted in the following:
- The bridge should be a monument, not a memorial
- The final product should be of “signature” stature
- The design should be simple, distinguished, and respectful
- The bridge itself should be a destination and piece of art
- The structure’s functionality should make Gateway Park more fluid and ADA accessible
Ancillary factors also taken into consideration included:
- The bridge should be attractive and conducive to future adjacent development
- The bridge should accentuate a recent sculpture donation/placement
- The bridge should be ADA accessible within a minimum land use footprint
- The bridge should complement all environmental elements within its view
The most challenging hurdle overcome by Matrix in completing the bridge design was the tight schedule imposed on the project. The project was subsidized with federal ARRA funds, and, as a result, an extremely narrow, eight-week design schedule was developed. Design of this highly visible and important structure began in November 2009. Construction commenced March 23, 2010 and was completed by September 2010.
As part of the overall design process, the Matrix team provided eight alternatives for the design committee to consider; features included the specific style and location of ramping options. In the end, the final design provided HARP with a signature piece of art that is considered sleek and respectful to its namesake.
The final structure consists of an open girder cast-in-place bridge with monuments, stairs, and ramps at each end. Associated retaining walls and landscaping are incorporated into the design. The monuments are clad with etched granite veneer to accommodate more than 5,000 name plaques. An illuminated glass marquise at the top of each monument accentuates the black granite. Low impact LED lighting is integrated into the handrails of the bridge, ramps, and stairs. Etched stainless steel shields displaying the seal of each branch of service are incorporated in the bridge railings. And for the finishing touch, tall light tubes are positioned at each end of the bridge symbolizing candles in a window for a deployed family member.
This one-of-a-kind project is a symbol of Pueblo’s prosperity and serves as a monument to the United States Armed Forces.