The Gold Line Bridge spans the eastbound lanes of the I-210 freeway northeast of Los Angeles and is the most visible element of the 11.5-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension light-rail project the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority is building between Pasadena and Azusa.
The Construction Authority completed the first ever artist-designed transit bridge in California, on time and on budge.
Designed by award-winning artist Andrew Leicester, the Gold Line Bridge is anchored by two, 25-foot "baskets" that pay tribute to the indigenous peoples of the San Gabriel Valley and the oversize iconic roadside traditions of nearby Route 66. The bridge has a serpentine main underbelly featuring casted grooves and hatch marks that simulate the patterns found on the Western Diamondback snake, metaphorically referencing the spine of the transit system.
"The Construction Authority is proud to have created a functional piece of art that will inspire travelers and commuters for generations to come," said Doug Tessitor, Construction Authority board chair and Glendora council member.
The project is the first to incorporate such intricate design, structural and architectural elements into transit infrastructure. The Construction Authority re-imagined the design process for the dual-track bridge, making it possible for the art to lead the design and engineering. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a sculptural light-rail bridge built for the same cost ($18.6 million) as was originally estimated for a typical light-rail structure.
The Construction Authority brought the artist on early to lead the design process, before the design-build team was selected. As the design concept adviser, Leicester worked alongside Los Angeles-based design consultant AECOM and the bridge's builder Skanska USA to ensure the final design and construction were true to the overall vision.