Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally, a Bridge to Somewhere

Concrete beams and a construction crane to lift them across Calle 26, where they will connect Parque de la Independencia to the modern art museum.
After a multi-year legal battle between the city and neighborhood residents, work has finally restarted on the bridge over Calle 26, between Parque de la Independencia and the Museum of Modern Art.

Neighbors had sued to stop the project, objecting in particular to the way it invades the park. It was halted for years while the court battle played out. The neighbors are right about the project's poor design. But, now that it's been started, it seems like the best solution is to finish it once and for all. The long-suffering park used to be much larger, but sections were sliced off as the city built avenues on its western and southern sides.

The idea of expanding the park above the avenue came from famed architect Rogelio Salmona, who also designed the Torres del Parque behind the nearby bullfighting stadium. Ironically, many of those fighting the bridge project live in those towers.

The section of Calle 26 between Carrera 3 and Carrera 7 will be shut for three months while huge beams are lifted into place. The platform, which is to contain green space and areas for cultural activities, is supposed to be completed in early 2016.

Three neighborhood residents - part of the group which fought to stop the project - watch the construction.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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