Rosemont bridge will cross Memorial drive and join the two sides of Buffalo Bayou Park east of Studemont [Images from City of Houston]

The Bridge Formerly Known as Tolerance

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department broke ground on Saturday, March 13, 2010, for the construction of a bridge across Memorial Drive and the two sides of Buffalo Bayou just east of Studemont. The project was originally called “Tolerance Bridge” and featured a sculptural piece on the top designed by Elmgreen + Dragset that gave the illusion of impassibility.

After negative reactions from City Council about the name, the Houston Arts Alliance held a contest to find a new one. But not enough money was raised through private donations to pay for an art piece to accompany the name game. The city, instead, went ahead with a design by SWA Group defined by topography, an existing old railroad bridge, and cost.

Here’s copy from the city press release:

When completed, the Rosemont Bridge will provide pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers with a safe route across Memorial Drive to Buffalo Bayou Park. The bridge will span Memorial Drive and Buffalo Bayou and connect the two sides of Buffalo Bayou Park, west of Eleanor Tinsley Park and east of the Studemont-Montrose Boulevard Bridge. The new bridge will also connect to a new trail being built along Memorial Drive. This trail will run from the Sabine Street Bridge to Spotts Park and will allow joggers a new alternative for outdoor exercise….utilizing the trestles of the old railroad bridge near the Studemont-Montrose Bridge…The new bridge will make it easier and safer for park visitors to access both sides of the bayou without risking being caught up in traffic on the Studemont-Montrose Bridge.



This photo was taken by Raj Mankad.

This photo was taken by Raj Mankad.

Funding for the project is coming from the city and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) 5. Here are the two full pdfs of the plan and section.

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    1. 1

      Cool! That bridge is really crucial, as anybody who has gotten stuck on the north side of the Bayou and had to cross Memorial and use sketchy “paths” to exit the park can attest. I can understand the concerns with the name, too. “Tolerance” is indeed kind of weak sauce.

    2. 2

      [...] according to Offcite, the Alliance was unable to raise the funds for the way-cool Moebius Strip sculpture that was to go [...]

    3. 3

      SWA Group, landscape architect, is the correct designer –

    4. 4

      [...] name. (There is now a simpler and nearly completed bridge at the site, the SWA Architects-designed Rosemont Bridge.) The idea of celebrating tolerance moved forward, however, ending in the Plensa [...]