puyallup avenue bridge
The erection of the new Puyallup Avenue Viaduct and Bridge not only assures the safety and efficiency of the route, but also creates a new gateway to the City of Tacoma greeting residents and visitors. It is an iconic visual and spatial marker that relates to what is important for the community. The surroundings with the dominating mountain served as a cue for the bridge’s design. Structural shapes of the new bridge are consistent with geometry of the existing river while also borrowing forms from Mount Rainier.
When looking on the Puyallup Avenue Bridge from a distance, the shape of the tower with its cables symbolize the historic dwellings of native residents of the area by taking cues from the end elevation of the historic Indian home. The side elevation of the Bridge resembles the façade of the plank house with its axial totem pole in the middle of structure.
The strong image of the trusses is depicted in several elements of the bridge design. The tower design with cross bracing along with supports below the deck take cues from the trusses of the neighboring bridges. Also the same motif is used in the handrails and projectile barriers over the railroad, where sloped elements depict the silhouette of the mountain but at the same time those also represent a shape of a truss with its strict geometrical hierarchy and structural logic. This continuity in the preliminary design forms and shapes creates a cohesive visual appearance, and relate all parts of the bridge to each other. The repetition of the elements visually unifies the bridge as one passage.