Competitions :: Cleveland Design Competition - Transforming the Bridge



Standard Registration: September 10, 2012
Late Registration: September 24, 2012
Submission Deadline: October 5, 2012
Award: $5,000


The Detroit-Superior Bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Bridge, is one of the most prominent features of Cleveland’s urban landscape. At almost one-mile long, The Bridge spans the Cuyahoga River connecting Downtown Cleveland, the industrial Flats neighborhood and Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods. The Bridge, completed in 1918, is a concrete arch and steel bridge consisting of two levels; an upper level that is largely dominated by vehicular traffic and a lower level that was originally designed for streetcars. While the upper level of The Bridge is one of the most heavily used thoroughfares in Cleveland, the lower level has remained closed, vacant and largely unused since 1954 when streetcar service was discontinued. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the upper level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, including an expanded sidewalk for pedestrians and a bike lane, were completed in 2005.

The lower level of The Bridge is a vast, cathedral-like space that includes subterranean subway stations at either end. An open-air span over the river provides unmatched views of the downtown skyline, the city’s industrial valley, and Lake Erie. The two ends of The Bridge include vestiges of the former streetcar stations including stairwells and tunnels, colonnades and waiting spaces, and segments of track. Pedestrian and vehicular entry to The Bridge currently occurs at grade on either end of The Bridge at a gated opening, and by stair via two original entry points; an office building on the southwest corner of West 25th and Detroit and through a building that serves as the current home of the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office.

The Bridge offers tremendous potential for use as a dynamic public space, performance venue, and sheltered bicycle/pedestrian connection over the Cuyahoga River. Designs will provoke public conversation about creative place making in Cleveland and provide innovative ideas for a world-class public space. Winning designs will be selected among entries as best illustrating the possibilities for the future use of The Bridge.

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