The city of Charlotte on Tuesday revealed a new look and opening date for the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 277 that will link uptown and South End.
The bridge, originally expected to open in 2023, is now projected to be complete in spring 2025, according to the city’s revised timetable for the $11 million project.
Over 40 miles of bikeways will connect into center city via the bridge, which will be the widest part of the Rail Trail, officials said.
Double arches up to 40 feet high will be an architectural highlight of the bridge. Charlotte-based Depeña Studio is lead designer on the project.
The span will connect the CATS Blue Line Stonewall Station to where the existing Rail Trail ends under the East Morehead Street bridge, north of Carson Street.
The trail runs for miles along the light rail, but pedestrians and cyclists have to use a bridge with vehicular traffic over I-277 to access uptown.
City officials planned to provide the update and new architect renderings at a public session Tuesday evening at Charlotte Urban Design Center.
Since plans for the bridge were unveiled at a November 2019 kickoff meeting, “the project team has been reevaluating some of the design aspects due to rising material costs,” officials wrote on the project page.
The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are each contributing $3.1 million to the project and the N.C. Department of Transportation $3.3 million, according to the project page. The private sector is giving $1.5 million, officials said.
Final design work should wrap up in summer 2022, with the opening of bids for the project in fall 2022, according to the city’s revised timetable. Construction should start in spring 2023, the timetable shows.
In other trail/greenway news, the city recently placed the long-planned Belk Greenway Connector between Baxter Street and East Stonewall Street on hold. The city wants to determine “the impact of nearby, recently started private land development activity,” according to the project page. “No further real estate acquisition or design activities are planned at this time.”