Calatrava Bridge Venice
Two large sections of the Fourth Bridge on the Grand Canal, designed by Spanish-born architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, will move by boat along Venice's Grand Canal during the night of July 27-28, 2007, reaching their final home near the city's major railway station.
Positioning and installation of the first lateral section of the bridge near Piazzale Roma will happen on July 28 and continue through the day. On July 29 the section of the bridge on the opposite bank, near Stazione Santa Lucia, will be installed.
The central portion of the bridge will be moved to the site on August 7. On August 11, the three sections of the bridge will be connected, spanning the Grand Canal.
The arched, steel structure of the bridge, which is now about to be put into place, is 308 feet long overall, with a central span of 266 feet, and rises from a height of 10.5 feet over the canal on the embankments to 30 feet at midpoint.
The steps and deck of the bridge will be made of alternating sections of tempered security glass and natural Istria stone, picking up the design of the existing pavement. The parapet will be entirely glass, with a glazed bronze handrail comprising its upper edge. At night, fluorescent bulbs set within the handrail will illuminate the path, adding to the stage-set effect created by illumination from below the transparent deck. Spotlights set low on the walls will illuminate the ground on either end of the bridge.
Once complete, the bridge will merge smoothly into the quays on either side. The steps and ramps are designed to add vitality to both sides of the canal, while the abutments (which are crescent-shaped) will leave pedestrians with free access to the quays. The areas at either end will act as extensions of the bridge, creating new celebratory spaces for Venice. On the south side, the design will also provide a new passage between the Piazzale Roma and the mooring platforms for the ACTV water transport.