Charlottesville has a rich history of underpasses. Inspired by the no-bridge solution, 9th street is lowered into the earth passing beneath three simple short spans for Water Street, the CSX railroad beds, and Avon Extended. An inverted landscape is formed by two juxtaposed tree-lined arcing fin walls incised into the earth and the roadway no longer violates the view shed. Overlapping at their deepest grade to support the bridges, the fins feather out at their ends, the land purposely graded outward for a less tunnel-like and more genial resolution.
A new cable-stayed pedestrian bridge enters the act as a visual counterpoint to the dominant form of the Pavilion. Lightweight, tensile, pedestrian-friendly succeeds decaying, heavy, compressive, “auto-centrism” in the next millennium.