The San Francisco Bay Bridge, a marvel of engineering when it was constructed in the 1930s, is now crumbling and unstable. As construction teams work on replacing it with another bridge, architects suggest ways the abandoned span could be reused.

Architecture students at UC Berkeley suggested a number of ways the abandoned old bridge could be turned into more housing or public space for the city. An abandoned elevated train line in New York City was recently transformed into a park, so the idea isn't completely far-fetched. The problem is that currently the span of bridge requires a lot of maintenance in order to be safe, so it's not likely that putting houses on it would be a brilliant plan. Unless you had the money to retrofit it. And that price tag is so high that the local government chose to invest in a new bridge rather than salvage the old one.

So take these designs as speculative architecture. More likely, the bridge will be dismantled or become a bird habitat. And maybe squatters will take up residence there, like in William Gibson's Virtual Light.

Architects Plan Housing For Abandoned Stretch of Bay BridgeS

David Dana suggests mixed use housing, shops, and gardens.

Architects Plan Housing For Abandoned Stretch of Bay BridgeS

Lan Hu imagines a giant luxury hotel capping the end of the bridge, looking very futuristic. It would be reached by ferry.

Architects Plan Housing For Abandoned Stretch of Bay BridgeS

Nicole Lew suggests gardens and a few shops.

via San Francisco Chronicle