The Salt Lake City Planning Commission has approved a controversial plan to build a sky bridge for pedestrians as part of a new mixed use development.
"By a 6-3 vote Wednesday, the commission forwarded a positive recommendation to the City Council for a sky bridge to span Main Street at 50 South. But instead of selling the air rights above Main, the commission recommended a lease to be tied to the life of the LDS Church's 25-acre retail and residential project."
"In a separate vote, the commission unanimously approved the overall site plan for City Creek, scheduled for completion in late 2011."
"Debate raged more than four hours before the approval, which comes with a series of amendments for the City Council to consider before taking the ultimate vote. Planners want the council to consider the degree of transparency on the glass for the 130-foot bridge. Right now, the design calls for etched grass on the sides to resemble foliage by the side of a creek. The skywalk, which has escalators to the street on each end, also has glass panels that open above-head and completely clear glass in the center to provide optimum views."
"Even so, commissioners argued about a 'conundrum' - that is, voting on language drafted by the City Council with built-in 'contradictions.' How can there be minimal interruption to the view corridor, for instance, when the sky bridge includes architectural and artistic elements? What's more, the commission struggled with the notion that retail accessibility be maximized - essentially through a pedestrian bridge - while the vibrancy of the street life be maintained."