ROANOKE, Va. – The vision for the new Wasena Bridge is becoming clearer.
Engineers unveiled their updated concept for the bridge during a community meeting Thursday night.
“It’s very modern-looking, with accent lighting,” said Chad Thomas, who is the principal engineer for Mattern & Craig, the firm designing the new Wasena Bridge."The bridge is something that the community is going to be proud of, and it’s going to stand as a landmark."
The current Wasena Bridge was built in 1939, but is past its original lifespan and is considered structurally deficient.
Thomas said his plan for the new bridge is not just to make it safe, but to make it a destination.
“Not only do we want to we want to make a bridge that gets us from point A to point B, but the goal here is to revitalize the Wasena area and Wasena Park,” Thomas said.
The updated design is made just as much for pedestrians and cyclists as for cars. It features overlooks for walkers to stop and view the Roanoke River, as well as much wider bike lanes than its predecessor.
“It’s not your everyday, run-of-the-mill bridge,” Thomas said. “What we tried to do on the bridge is create space where people can congregate and overlook the river and the park.”
City councilmembers will look over the design ahead of their meeting on Tuesday.
Demolition of the old Wasena Bridge is not scheduled to start until 2022.