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Bridges to Prosperity's First U.S. Span Planned in Denver

Part of wider plans to revitalize Denver's River North neighborhood, a planned pedestrian and bike bridge will call on the services of Bridges to Prosperity. The nonprofit has constructed 270 small bridges across the world.
November 6, 2017, 1pm PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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A section of the South Platte River.
Ken Lund

Across Africa and Central and South America, Jon Murray writes, "hundreds of suspension bridges built by a Denver-based nonprofit group have connected rural communities to health care, schools and jobs — serving as literal lifelines across rivers, especially during flood season."

In its first U.S. project, Bridges for Prosperity has teamed up with the city and a local developer, among others, to construct a pedestrian and bike crossing over the South Platte River. "It's tentatively called the Art Bridge. The nonprofit's involvement came about as Denver-based Zeppelin Development and community advocates looked for creative ways to speed up the building of a long-sought pedestrian and bike bridge across the Platte, roughly aligned with 35th Street."

Murray writes that the Art Bridge will likely cost "less than half what a city-planned steel-heavy pedestrian bridge typically would cost," and the goal is to begin construction in spring of 2018. Despite cost savings, the bridge will cost roughly $3 million rather than the nonprofit's usual $50,000, "given the more stringent design and engineering rules [in the U.S.], including load standards."

The site is close to the spot where the city plans to break ground on the River North Park next year. "The city also has plans for a $12 million river promenade running along the east bank, from 29th to 38th streets, that would improve the existing river path."

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