Background & History

James Rouse, the visionary founder of Columbia, had a plan for a cross-town transitway connecting Columbia with a bridge over US 29. (insert link to photo of early three-dimensional model of Rouse's planned "new city" of Columbia).

A pedestrian bridge was constructed in 1974, but the vision of a cross-town transitway was not forgotten by some of the original residents of the "new city" and a study was done in 2012.  The study concluded that such a bridge would be too costly and this article appeared in the Columbia Flier in September 2012. "Bridge Columbia advocates expand plan for Route 29 bridge". 

"When a study published last September concluded a transit bridge connecting the Columbia villages of Town Center and Oakland Mills was too costly, proponents of the plan, called Bridge Columbia, were not deterred. Even though some groups may haven taken the report as a signal to scale back, Friends of Bridge Columbia did the exact opposite. Fred Gottemoeller is a member of Bridge Columbia, a group that advocates for a wider bridge connection over U.S. 29 on the path that winds around Lake Kittamaqundi. "We've been doing two things since then, expanding and explaining," said Fred Gottemoeller, a lead proponent of the group.  Now, a year after the original plan was rebuffed, the group is raising support for a new iteration of the plan, which calls for the replacement of the existing footbridge over Route 29 in favor of "an iconic, landmark" transit bridge." 

Friends of Bridge Columbia, (then known as "Bridge Columbia") continued to advocate for a bridge that would include transit, documenting their "News and Views" in a newsletter. Links to those newsletters can be found on the page of that name. 

Three years later their efforts were recognized when the newly elected County Executive Kittleman supported a new feasibility study published in 2015.  The Downtown Columbia Bridge Feasibility Study contains reams of relevant data, drawings, plans, etc for several possible transit bridges over US 29, one of which is shown below. 

 

© 2016 by Friends of Bridge Columbia