The community of Bayside is preparing for the opening of the Bayside Bridge, the first of three bridges planned for the Genesis communities of Bayview, Bayside and The Canals. The Bayside Bridge will serve residents and visitors of Bayside Estates, and it will allow pedestrian and vehicular access across one of the canal arms that winds through the community. We sat down to learn more about the Bayside Bridge from Peter Jensen, Senior Development Manager with Genesis Land.
Why is the Bayside Bridge an important component of the community?
The bridge unifies and connects the north and south areas of Bayside Estates via Bayside Drive and provides ease of access to the people, parks and places that make up Bayside Estates. This new bridge also enhances the connectivity to the downtown services and those along 8th Street and gets people where they need to be faster and safer.
What inspired the design of the bridge and its placement within Bayside?
Bridges are often industrial in design and not compatible in the residential setting. The bridge style we selected emphasises strength, but it is also designed with elegance in mind. The strength comes from nearly 206,000 kg of reinforced steel, 6,000,000 lbs of poured concrete and 255 pre-cast textured concrete panels. The bridge spans about 85 feet of canal and allows over 12 feet clearance from the water to the underside of the bridge.
The underside of the bridge has tapered walls and a graceful arch, which mimics the rising lands to the west and the chinooks that form on the horizon. A number of cast-in-place parapets line each side of the pedestrian walkways, joined by dark metal handrails. The parapets have a decorative stone-like appearance, reflecting the abundance of sandstone found in the area. The bridge is equipped with architectural LED street lights for safety. We also chose lighting underneath the arch to reflect off the water to give it a glowing effect in the evenings.
Why is it important to have structures like this in a residential community?
The Bayside Bridge serves as a distinctive, centrally located landmark, and it adds a rare and unusual feature not found in typical communities. Genesis communities have a strong connection to the water and the tranquility it brings to the people who live there. With Sandpiper Park just a block away, the bridge acts as a conduit for residents to move, gather and enjoy the open spaces.
What factors are taken into consideration when adding bridges and other structures to Genesis communities?
The concept of the canals and abundance of water in our community is over 20 years in the making. The master plan envisioned nearly 6000 homes within 720 acres and a network of canals and ponds to connect them. But with that many people and that much water, you need a way to cross it. We have previously installed 5 pedestrian crossings connecting our open spaces and neighbourhoods, but this is first of three bridges designed to allow both vehicles and pedestrians to get around. We have collaborated with our engineers and landscape architects to ensure the bridge is structurally sound and aesthetically compliments a residential setting.
Are there any questions about the bridge that have been raised frequently by community members? This is a great opportunity to answer them.
We started this project in Spring 2017, and a lot of residents have watched it evolve. There were some concrete pours that were had to be done late in the evening because of temperatures, so we had a few people wondering why we were working at 2 am with concrete trucks in a residential area!
Most of the other questions have been, “What will it look like when it’s done?” and “When can we finally use it?” I truly believe the public will appreciate the thought and effort that went into the detailed design and construction this feature, and we look forward to presenting to the public once its completed later this year.