If you can’t get through the traffic, go over it – that’s the approach several developers have been taking lately in Austin, including the new Fairmont Hotel’s developer.
Work began recently on the Canopy Walk – the $6 million, 33-foot tall sky bridge that will connect the Fairmont Austin with the Austin Convention Center in downtown Austin. Manchester Texas Financial Group LLP, the Fairmont’s developer, consulted with the Waller Creek Conservancy on the aerial walkway over Red River Street, which is designed to give pedestrians going to and from the Convention Center’s second level a view of Waller Creek.
New York-based Thomas Phifer and Partners is designing the new walkway. That firm, along with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates, is also designing the Waller Creek Conservancy’s revitalization. BIG RED DOG Engineering is the civil engineer for both the new bridge and the Waller Creek revitalization. dwg. is providing the landscape architecture for Waller Creek, the Canopy Walk, and the Fairmont.
“The ultimate goal is to celebrate what’s unique about a critical ecosystem that runs through the heart of downtown Austin,” Daniel Woodroffe, president and founder of dwg, told the Austin American-Statesman.
The bridge is expected to be completed next May, and the new Fairmont is planned to open next summer.
Aerial pedestrian bridges are popping up in other parts of Austin, too: the Moody Bridge, a walkway between the UT College of Communications buildings, recently opened, and a bridge over 15th Street connecting the new Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas and its parking garage is under construction.