Blossom Bridge Project set to begin this summer

The Blossom Street Bridge, built in 1953, is undergoing a $30-$40 million federal upgrade this summer to improve city connectivity and pedestrian access, following four years of planning and public engagement.

Screenshot 2024-03-07 at 11.47.13 AM.png

Construction is scheduled to begin in June on the bridge project. | Photo via SCDOT

The Blossom Street Bridge — a primary thoroughfare to the downtown area crossing over the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad tracks — is poised for a significant upgrade this summer. Following years of planning and public input, the $30-$40 million project is set to replace the aging bridge and improve connectivity and livability in the area.

🔑 Key updates

Pedestrian priority: The addition of a multi-use path, sidewalks, and pedestrian-focused lighting will make the bridge more accessible for non-motorists.

Green Street Bridge-4429.jpg

The design aesthetic will be similar to the Greene Street Bridge. | Photo by COLAtoday

Design Inspiration: The new bridge’s architecture is inspired by the aesthetic of the Greene Street Bridge one block away, aiming to blend into the landscape.

Minimal Disruption: To minimize impact on daily commutes and local traffic, construction will be phased, with traffic flow remaining as uninterrupted as possible throughout the project’s duration. This approach will help maintain accessibility in the area and reduce the inconvenience for residents and visitors.

Screenshot 2024-03-08 at 9.55.43 AM.png

A map of detours for the upcoming project. | Graphic via SCDOT

Community: From its inception in 2019, the project has placed an emphasis on public input, and hosted several virtual meetings and presentations.

Zooming out: The Blossom Street Bridge project joins several other ongoing initiatives that embrace the principles of the city’s 2015 Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. That plan outlines a vision to prioritize people, not just vehicles, in high-traffic areas.

“Road diet” initiatives include the recent addition of bike lanes on Calhoun Street, Future Five Points, and the ongoing $23 million South Main Street project behind the State House that’s reducing vehicular lanes in favor of dedicated bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and more green spaces.

These efforts — including Columbia’s first cycle track (dedicated bicycle lane separated by some kind of vertical barrier) on South Main Street — highlight a city-wide shift toward a safer, more inclusive transportation infrastructure.

More from COLAtoday