Ralph Wilson Park Bridge


To reconnect residents to the historic Lake Erie shoreline, the City of Buffalo is transforming 100-acres of adjacent parkland into the new Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park. A new 266-foot pedestrian bridge designed by sbp will soon span across interstate I-190 and the CSX rail line to link the new park with the Lower West Side neighborhood of Buffalo. The bridge was designed with an appreciation for Buffalo’s rich architectural and industrial heritage, coupled with a desire to create an innovative and optimized structure. The result is an enclosed steel tied-arch bridge structure that protects pedestrians from the noise and traffic below, while also creating a safe and welcoming crossing into the park.
The bridge is supported by embankment walls on either side of the roadway. By adding berms at either end of the bridge, it was possible to shorten the overall length of the bridge, thereby reducing the structural impact, weight, and amount of material required. The structure allows for a usable deck width of 16 feet and the steel plate that covers the bridge reaches a height of 20 feet above the deck at the midspan. The tied-arch bridge design provides an efficient means to resist load and horizontal thrust. While groups of architectural cut-outs are patterned across the vertical sides of the steel, allowing for the efficient flow of forces between the top and bottom chords of the arch. To permit quick installation, the bridge will be transported in four pieces, assembled off-site and lifted into its final location.

Buffalo, New York, USA
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Landscape Architect), Gilbane Building Company (CM)
Buffalo Urban Development Corporation / City of Buffalo
Project Responsibility
Michael Stein


Technical Data

Main span
266 ft (81 m)
16 ft (5 m)
Bridge deck area
44,32 sf (420 m²)




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