A new pedestrian bridge is to link Goštauto and Upės streets across the Neris river in Vilnius. A jury of experts has ranked the projects in the design competition from which the winner will be selected by the end of the year, according to a press release. The leading design proposes an arching wooden structure accessible on foot, by wheelchair or bike.
“As the city grows rapidly, there is an increasing demand for new convenient city connections not only for vehicles, but also for pedestrians or cyclists. This new bridge will connect two important city spaces where hundreds of people work and whose journey home or to work will be radically shortened,” Vilnius Deputy Mayor Vytautas Mitalas is quoted in a press release from the Municipality.
“I believe that the new bridge over the Neris […] will become an exemplary piece of architecture that will grace the refurbished embankment for decades to come.”
Of the nine designs submitted to the competition, the jury thought the best was the concept entitled ‘Alberto tiltas’ (Albert’s Bridge) by INHUS Engineering and DO Architects.
The design offers linking the riverbanks with a new wooden arch bridge in four points in the lower and the upper riverbank terraces. Disabled people and families with strollers could conveniently use the bridge on both the upper and the lower levels.
The bridge’s main structure would be made from local timber, which is the only material that does not release CO2 during production. It would also fit well with the wooden villas in the adjacent Žvėrynas district.
The other leading design proposals are ‘Neries vartai’ (Neris Gate) by Studija 501, SRP projektas, LT projektai and Mutuss; and ‘Lux Semita’ by TEC Infrastructure.
The bridge is planned as an important connection for pedestrians and cyclists between the rapidly growing districts of Saltoniškės and Žvėrynas on the right bank of the Neris and Lukiškės on the left riverbank.
Based on the new master plan for the city, it will also be an important cycling path connection between central Vilnius and western residential districts.
The bridge will be around 8.5 meters wide, with 3 meters for pedestrians and 4 meters for cyclists.
The designs were judged by a jury appointed by the Architects Association of Lithuania.
“We hope to sign the contract with the winners this year,” said Mindaugas Pakalnis, Chief Architect of the City and a member of the jury.
The Vilnius City Council plans to allocate about 5 million euros for the construction of the new bridge which is to be completed within four years.