Sunday, March 25, 2012

Calatrava's dislike of ramps.

Santiago Calatrava, the designer of "Large Marge" aka the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, isn't too enamored of all the ramps built to access the bridge from Woodall Rodgers and I-35. According to him we didn't need all the ramps for the cars to get onto the bridge from these freeways.  In an interview with James Russell from Bloomberg News:

“I told them they didn’t need all those ramps,” Calatrava said when I spoke to him in his Park Avenue townhouse office after I returned to Manhattan. He said they could instead have sold the land next to the bridge and earned money on developments that feature bridge and parkland views."

I'm not a fan of the mess of ramps either.  In fact, the worst part of my commute is the quarter mile drive from Central Expressway to I-35 on Woodall Rodgers.  Depending on the traffic, I can spend up to 30 minutes on Woodall Rodgers so I have had plenty of time to stare at those ramps.  They are clunky swaths of concrete that do not integrate seamlessly with our fancy bridge.  It is like wearing orthopedic shoes with an elegant ball gown.  The shoes may get you from point a to point b.  But it isn't going to happen in a pretty way.  However, Calatrava wasn't hired to design the on ramps, only the bridge.  He may have been willing to design the on-ramps, but the likelihood was that the City of Dallas couldn't afford it.

Read more about James Russell's review of the bridge here.  H/T to D Magazine's Front Burner blog where I first read the article.

No comments: