16 jun 08 | Chicago Public Radio (online)

Architects float idea for bridge

By Lynette Kalsnes

Two Chicago architects have an idea for a pedestrian bridge that's two miles long--in Lake Michigan.

The firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is calling its proposal the Eco-Bridge. The bridge gets that name because it's lined with about 200 wind turbines. The Eco-Bridge would trace an arc between East Wacker Drive and the Adler Planetarium, and form a harbor for thousands of boats.

Architect Adrian Smith:

SMITH: A city constantly needs to improve and upgrade itself. Otherwise, it stays stagnant and can die.

There'd be a observation deck that's 600 feet tall. Smith says it'd be ideal for displaying the Olympic flame. The Eco-Bridge would be made out slag, a byproduct of steel-making. And it would be porous, to provide a habitat for fish. The estimated cost? Upwards of a billion dollars. The architects have shown their idea to some city officials, but it hasn't been presented to the City Council or any city departments... LISTEN