From Adam Vaughan's Ward 20 newsletter
Railway Lands West Pedestrian Bridge
Preliminary plans for the Railway Lands West Pedestrian Bridge were presented by Concord Adex, GO Transit, and City Planning Division at a meeting on February 4. Designs for the bridge have not yet been developed; the meeting was held to provide an update to residents about the work underway to locate the bridge supports and receive feedback.
The bridge will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel over the rail corridor to the CityPlace neighbourhood and the waterfront. Concord Adex, the developers of the CityPlace neighbourhood in the Railway Lands, are required to design and build the bridge, which is planned to connect to Front St W between Portland and Draper Streets, with a ramp that will lead to the intersection of Portland and Front, and stairs down to street level.
Extensive discussions have been held with GO Transit regarding the location of a support footing for the bridge in the rail corridor. Go Transit requirements are that 15 seconds of uninterrupted sightlines must be provided in advance of transit signals, and a 28 foot clearance be provided above the rails. This has determined the location of the bridge and its height.
The bridge will be based on a box truss structure that will be built off-site and lifted into place. The exact manner in which the bridge lands and meets Front St W will be determined through the design process.
Concord Adex is working with artists on the design of the bridge and exploring options to introduce colour and shape, embedding text or art objects into the trusses, lighting and markers at the edges, landing and lookout points, etc. Approvals are still required for many of the details of the bridge, including landing points, legal agreements, and other construction details. The projected start date for construction of the bridge, under the best case scenario, is mid-2012.
Feedback from residents at the meeting included concerns about the utilitarian look of the early drawings of the bridge. Several residents expressed the desire for the streetscape on Front St W to be improved, including the addition of sidewalks on the south side of the street.