I-70/I-71 Long Street Bridge and Cultural Wall

I-70/I-71 Long Street Bridge and Cultural Wall Columbus, Ohio

Services Provided

Urban Design
Streetscape Design Enhancement
Public Engagement

People Involved

Chris Hermann
Tim Schmalenberger
Jeff Bryan
Kristen Lucas


Highlighted in USDOT’s 2017 Annual Budget Report ‘Transforming Communities in the 21st Century’
2014 Columbus Landmarks Foundation James B. Recchie Award Finalist
2014 Outstanding New Short Span Bridge Award by the ABCD Central Ohio Chapter

Repairing a severed connection to a historic neighborhood by celebrating its past, present, and future.

The Long Street Bridge and Cultural Wall is part of the first of several phases of reconstruction for the Ohio Department of Transportation's I-70/71 Columbus Crossroads Project. The Columbus Crossroads project will improve urban design and gateways, roadway safety, capacity, connectivity, and aesthetics throughout the interchange corridor through Downtown Columbus. The implementation, a collaboration between the City of Columbus, the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and the Ohio Department of Transportation includes enhancements to more than 12 bridges improving the connections between the downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods across the interstate. Each bridge crossing is being individually considered and designed to reflect the unique character of and connections to the surrounding neighborhood across the trench.

The new Long Street Bridge creates a unique gateway to downtown and reconnects the King-Lincoln District and Near East Side neighborhoods with the downtown and the Discovery District, bridging the divide created by the original construction of Interstate 71.

A complete streets design approach extends the streetscape across the bridge with wider sidewalks for pedestrian comfort and safety, added bike lanes, on-street parking, and trees and landscape in irrigated planters, reflecting the needs voiced by the community during the public input phase. 

An added green ‘cap’ to the above deck bridge design provides a new civic green and gathering space for neighborhood and community events, and helps mend the urban fabric and pedestrian experience of the area. The bridge design also includes polycarbonate, interior illuminated panels in place of the traditional safety fence. The result is reduced noise and visual impact of the interstate below.


On one side of the bridge, MKSK worked with two local artists and the engineering team to design a cultural art wall that celebrates the history and leaders of the King-Lincoln District area and Near East Side neighborhoods. The 240-foot-long mural serves as a source of community pride and a true gateway to downtown.