The city of Durango on Wednesday released new renderings of the would-be pedestrian bridge at 32nd Street that has drawn sharp reactions during the past few weeks from residents who criticized it for being unnecessary, over-built and out of character with its surroundings.
Last month, a rough rendering of the proposed $4.1 million pedestrian bridge over the Animas River at 32nd Street was released, but city officials have maintained it was not an accurate depiction of the structure expected to be built.
On Wednesday, those final renderings were made public, and though it may take a keen eye, city officials say there are differences from the rough draft released in January.
“This is an actual depiction of what the bridge will look like,” said Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz. “This is the image we want the community to see and understand.”
Old rendering of bridge
New rendering of bridge
Metz said the new images more accurately show the color of the three-part bridge crossing the Animas River, which was orange and now is a rusty steel.
She said the first part of the bridge over the Animas River is now more similar to other bridges that cross the river in other parts of town.
For the part that crosses over the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks, Metz said the depiction now shows planned glass sides and a roof, making the section totally enclosed so smoke and coal embers from passing locomotives don’t affect trail users.
And, she said the final portion of the bridge, which crosses over 32nd Street, now shows mesh on its sides so people can’t throw things off the structure and hit cars.
Responding to complaints over the size of the bridge in the original rendering, Metz said the images released Wednesday show a smaller-sized bridge.
“Obviously, it’s not a built structure, but it is the best we can do to give the community a really good idea visually of what the bridge will look like,” she said.
In recent weeks, public comments have flooded Durango City Council and The Durango Herald, taking issue with the price of the structure, its height and its overall need.
City officials who support construction, for their part, say the bridge would allow a community trail connection between parks and homes in north Durango that wouldn’t require travel on city streets.
Durango city staff members will host a series of informational meetings aimed at garnering public feedback and providing details about the proposed bridge, the first of which is 5 p.m. tonight during a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting at the Durango Community Recreation Center.