Skip to main content

Bridging the Gap

Students reimagine Belmont structure

Kate Martin (Arch ’11, ’14) with her team’s winning entry in Project Gait-Way: Belmont Bridge Design Competition Photo by Brian Wimer

Long slated for repair, Charlottesville’s Belmont Bridge awaits its next incarnation. Eduardo Arroyo, the 2012 Robertson Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, led a University effort to meet the design challenges posed by a vital piece of Charlottesville’s transportation infrastructure.

Arroyo, who heads an acclaimed architecture firm in Madrid, assembled teams of 10 students and faculty advisers for a two-week workshop called “Belmont Vortex.” The teams competed for the winning design and prize money.

A team of UVA students, advised by professors Daniel Bluestone and W.G. Clark, won the people’s choice and jury awards in both categories—Best Bridge Design and best Urban Design and Planning. Their idea? No bridge at all. Titled “Belmont UnAbridged,” the proposal called for removal of the current bridge in favor of an at-grade crossing, providing space for Charlottesville Farmer’s Market, public orchards and a trellised shade park.