Before our internship ended, we wanted to leave the public with a final design idea that could serve as a visual reminder of what the bridge could be. In order to break the project up into more realistic chunks that could be independently fundraised and built, we divided Span the Dan into four phases: renovation, addition, connection, and expansion. We decided to focus on the first two phases, as those are the ones we know currently know the most about.
Our idea for the first phase is to create a long, glass walkway that goes out into the middle of the Dan River. The walkway would be all glass, which allows visitors inside the bridge to see the river as well as providing visual access to others from the outside. The glass walls would be infilled with different colored panels that mimic the colors of the river below. Since this walkway would be hundreds of feet long, we wanted to make sure that it does not become too tunnel-like. To combat this, we suggest opening up the bridge to the outside every fifty feet or so, which keeps the user connected to the water below.
One of the most valuable assets of this project is the beautiful steel structure on the existing bridge that is currently covered by the roof, deck, and siding. We strongly recommend using the existing structure as the framework for the new design. By using a combination of existing structure with transparent materials, this proposed idea highlights Danville's past while looking toward the future.