In 2015, the City of Orlando was awarded funding from the Florida Department of Transportation to design and construct a pedestrian overpass to connect two fragmented sections of the Orlando Urban Trail. The proposed pedestrian bridge will span both Colonial Drive (SR 50) and the CSX rail right-of-way to connect the Dinky Line (northern) portion of the Orlando Urban Trail with the Gertrude’s Walk (southern) section.
On May 5, 2016 the City, through its procurement process, selected Southland Construction, Inc. as the design builder for this project. The selected design included corten steel as its primary structural material for the truss over the Colonial Drive/CSX span. Corten steel, as proposed, presented an industrial aesthetic.
Per the Project DTO process undertaken in 2014/2015, and the resulting DTOutlook CRA plan, the Colonial Drive corridor between Interstate-4 and Magnolia Avenue is identified as a key gateway corridor that should feature high-quality treatments, aesthetic enhancements, and amenities to welcome arrival into Downtown. In addition, the DTOutlook plan specifically notes the opportunity of this pedestrian bridge as a connectivity improvement to link the North Quarter District with the Central Business District. Given the prominence of the proposed pedestrian bridge structure at this location in Downtown, Staff worked with the design builder to provide alternative material choices that would offer a more refined visual aesthetic.
Three options were presented by the design builder, including painting the steel, applying a metalized zinc coating, and replacing the steel with aluminum. Each option had varying cost and maintenance implications that were carefully weighed by Staff. Of the three options presented, CRA Staff has selected the application of a metalized zinc coating to the corten steel. This proposal will yield a silver/gray finish as opposed to the rusted appearance originally proposed, as well as provide a long lifespan, balancing aesthetics and long-term maintenance concerns. The cost for the structural material enhancement is $310,000.
The CRA Advisory Board, at its October 26th meeting, voted unanimously to recommend approval of the $310,000 expenditure for the material enhancement.