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Photographer's Note

You can say this about the city leaders of Redding, Calif.: When it comes to building a footbridge, they're not afraid to get their feet wet. In fact, they hired one of the world's foremost bridge designers, Santiago Calatrava, an architect of an aesthetic sensibility so refined he has been described by Time as "the poet of glass and steel." The product of this unusual collaboration is a $23 million, 700-foot-long, 23-foot-wide work of art, the likes of which has never been seen spanning the generally unadorned northern reaches of the Sacramento River.
Calatrava, who was born in Spain and makes his headquarters in Zurich, has designed a bridge so airy in concept that it will at no point touch the water. That's an important environmental as well as artistic consideration, since this particular bend in the river, called Turtle Bay, serves as a maternity ward for thousands of spawning chinook salmon. Instead, the span will be supported by 4,342 feet of steel cable suspended from a single, glistening white, 217-foot-high pylon that resembles an egret in flight more than it does an ordinary bridge tower. The pylon, situated at the exact north end of the bridge, will do double duty as a sundial, casting its elegant shadow on a grassy plaza.
"I was surprised, of course, to receive a call in Switzerland from California," Calatrava says. "But I was very much impressed by the commitment of these clients to do something special for their community. I agreed to go to Redding, and once there I saw how unbelievably beautiful their river was, with its surrounding mountains and forest. There was also the challenge to build something that would fit in with the topography, something that would not disturb the environment—a bridge that would not even touch the water."

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Additional Photos by Andre Salvador (erdna) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 738 W: 81 N: 1094] (5713)
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