It's a bleak, inhospitable wasteland, a pedestrians' death-trap, rutted by semis, dotted by potholes, avoided by anyone with common sense. And yet East Marginal Way

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Best New Pedestrian Flight Path

T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge

It's a bleak, inhospitable wasteland, a pedestrians' death-trap, rutted by semis, dotted by potholes, avoided by anyone with common sense. And yet East Marginal Way is now a pleasure to traverse, thanks to the T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge that takes pedestrians from the Museum of Flight's main campus (by the King County airport) west to its expanded facilities near the Duwamish. Opened last October, the Wyck, as we call it, is a translucent tubular lattice of steel, glass, and aluminum lit by LED lights at night. It's like the exoskeleton of a giant space worm, a fossil found on Mars, only it's actually the design of local firm SRG Partnership. Two giant oval sections were fabricated in Tacoma, barged up the Sound, and down the Duwamish, then lowered by crane onto their concrete piers. Inside the bridge, which somewhat recalls Eero Saarinen's famous TWA terminal at JFK Airport, there are commanding views south to Mt. Rainier and north to the city. An audio installation, Trails of Vapor, by local artist-composer Paul Rucker offers iconic sounds from aviation history and space exploration. And the whole thing is modular, so a third segment can be added if or when the museum expands farther west. No ticket's required for the space-age trip across Marginal, though the bridge is only open during museum hours.—Brian Miller

 
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