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Santiago Calatrava and Redding’s Sundial Bridge

THE ARCHITECT

Santiago Calatrava, 55, was born near Valencia, Spain. He’s an artist, architect and engineer now based in Zurich, Switzerland. Calatrava won the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2005; he designed the main sports complex for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the proposed World Trade Center transportation hub in Manhattan. On the drawing boards is a condominium tower in Chicago that, at 150 stories, would be the tallest building in the United States.

THE SUNDIAL BRIDGE

Cost : $23.5 million

Time to construct: Close to five years. Ground was broken in November 1999; the bridge opened July 4, 2004.

Quick facts: It is a suspension bridge, 700 feet long and 23 feet wide. The angled steel pylon at the northern end — 217 feet or about 20 stories high — supports 14 cables.

The bridge does not touch the river. Its deck, made of 2,245 panels of triple-layer glass, allows natural light to reach the water and the salmon spawning beds below. By night, the bridge is illuminated by 210 lights.

The bridge is a giant sundial, the pylon casting its shadow on a garden below. But because it is not precisely aligned with Earth’s axis, the sundial is accurate only for a few hours a year on June 21, the longest day of the year.

Info: The bridge is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily; access is free. It’s about one mile west of Interstate 5.


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