Wonder Bridge | SPF:architects

Wonder Bridge

Spanning the Paso Robles Highway at the eastern edge of Lost Hills, a sinuous pedestrian bridge connects Lost Hills Park to the North, with a Pre-school and College Prep Academy to the South.

A Need for Connection

Bisected by a busy highway with only one controlled intersection, the hamlet of Lost Hills was, prior to construction of the Wonder Bridge, essentially cleaved in half. Transited by large trucks, the highway presented a significant barrier to pedestrians looking to safely cross. SPF:a was engaged to design the bridge at a location directly adjacent to Lost Hills Park. From the beginning, it was important that the bridge not only connect the northern and southern halves of Lost Hills, but as a significant piece of infrastructure on the otherwise flat landscape, also stand as a gateway to Lost Hills.

Inspiration and Function

The plan of the bridge is inspired by the curl of a lizard's tail and the flow of swirling water. The resulting spiral shape allowed for a gentle transition and ease of ADA access from grade level to the required 20 feet above the roadway. The bridge span itself is a very typical 176 foot cast in place concrete structure slightly modified to accept the green railing/fence armature that transforms from a code required railing at the base of the bridge to a curved arched geometry; culminating in a heart shape at the center of the bridge symbolizing community and its benefactor.