Elevating utilitarian infrastructure to a thoughtfully designed community asset, the Grand Avenue Park Bridge highlights the value of rethinking public realm design. The bridge transforms the Everett waterfront, establishing a new connection between the historical Grand Avenue Park and the city’s developing waterfront district. At the bridge’s recent opening, Mayor Cassie Franklin commented, “It is a beautiful bridge, it is a utility project, and it is going to be part of our city for generations to come. It is a gorgeous new asset.” The new bridge solves a complicated sequence of grade-changes and utility needs in an unlikely new form that weaves pedestrian ramps and stairs above, around, and inside a sloping truss, presenting an inviting new crossing from Grand Avenue Park to the waterfront district. Across its 257-foot span, the bridge carries major utilities while navigating a network of existing electrical lines, a five-lane highway, and the BNSF train tracks at the base of an 80-foot-tall steep slope, all while preserving views from the park above. In part, the amazing views are preserved by having a unique entrance onto the top of the bridge such that most of the bridge structure is below Grand Avenue Park.
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