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After months of delays, cyclists, walkers and runners will soon have a much safer way to get in and out of Downtown Orlando. According to city officials, the pedestrian bridge over Colonial is set to open next month.
At a recent meeting of the Orlando Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, we learned the only things left to install are some cabling and some handrails.
Once open, the quarter-mile bridge will connect downtown to the Orlando Urban Trail and Gertrude’s Walk, allowing pedestrians to safely enter or leave downtown without the use of a car, or having to cross the congested road.
The bridge was originally slated to open Fall of 2018, but is now set for a likely ribbon cutting in April. City officials said one reason for the delay was that engineers were taking extra precautions after the pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami last year.
The Colonial pedestrian bridge will have embedded LED lighting, a swept-back main pier 88 feet tall and cable supports. It was partially paid for by a $9.2 million funding grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.
Eventually, Orlando officials also envision Gertrude’s Walk as connecting with the Shingle Creek Trail system in south Orange and north Osceola counties.
Of course, this will all become part of the larger, Coast-to-Coast trail network in Florida.
Below are City renderings of the project. Click on an image to enlarge.