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A Real-Life Bridge City?

In William Gibson's 1993 novel Virtual Light, San Francisco's Bay Bridge becomes a unique kind of city in in its own right:

[Chevette] looked up, just as she whipped between the first of the slabs, and the bridge seemed to look down at her, its eyes all torches and neon. She'd seen pictures of what it had looked like, before, when they drove cars back and forth on it all day, but she'd never quite believed them. The bridge was what it was, and somehow always had been. Refuge, weirdness, where she slept, home to many and all their dreams.

San Francisco's actual Bay Bridge is being redone; a large portion of the bridge will remain unused, but in good shape. What to do?


(The Bay Bridge in transition)

Local architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello hit upon this idea after considering what was about to happen to the Bay Bridge. Here is an aerial view, showing the abandoned side of the bridge on the right. This span of the bridge is still very sturdy, and could easily bear quite a bit of weight. Why dismantle and waste it when you could turn it into a unique neighborhood?


(The Bay Line)

Successful bridge neighborhoods have been built in Florence, Italy and in London, England. Why not here?

From Bay Line proposal (pdf) via Bldg Blog.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/17/2009)

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