After a grand opening ceremony in late October, the new Puente De Luz pedestrian bridge was closed for a time but quietly re-opened to the public last week. Puente de Luz, or 'Bridge of Light' was designed by renowned Chilean sculptor Francisco Gazitua with structural engineer Peter Sheffield, and is now one a series of public art installations dotting the landscape of the Concord CityPlace neighbourhood. This mellow yellow causeway will now carry pedestrians as well as bicyclists from the western portion of CityPlace to Front Street West just between Spadina and Bathurst.
The $8 Million Dollar bridge was built as required by the City of Toronto for developer Concord Adex to create interconnectivity with the surrounding neighbourhoods. One can not help but speculate that RioCan's recent decision to develop their property at Spadina and Front streets just east of Puente De Luz into a mixed-use retail complex has something do with the vast numbers of potential shoppers just to the south who now have an easier way of accessing RioCan's site.
Dignitaries at the bridge's October opening included Roberto Ibarra, Chile's Ambassador to Canada, Concord Pacific executives from Vancouver, Toronto officials, and many involved with the construction of the bridge. After the opening ceremony, the bridge was promptly closed again by City inspectors due to concerns over the sharpness of clips holding the controversial mesh to the sides of the bridge, as well as concerns over people tripping at joins while using the bridge. Those issues have been dealt with.
The mesh featured in the images above has certainly been a contentious addition to the design but was ultimately required by GO Transit to prevent debris and other objects from falling and obstructing the train tacks below. As well as in the late inclusion of the mesh, GO Transit earlier negotiated the bridge to be built quite a bit higher than the original design called for; this alteration serves to make sure the bridge does not interfere with the sightlines for train operators who must be able to see distant signal lights at all times.
Below is an image from the original opening just over a month ago before the repairs, do you notice a difference besides the obviously better weather?
mage by Craig White
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