Bridge over Canal Grande
Until 1854, when the first Accademia bridge was built, the only place you could cross the Canal Grande was at the Rialto. The last major bridge construction was on the Scalzi in 1934. So it was big news, when was decided in the 1990s to give the town a new, fourth crossing. The bridge is designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and has for now taken his name: Ponte di Calatrava. The pedestrian bridge is a long sweeping form of glass and steel accessed by steps. In August 2007 the central section of the new bridge was ferried down the Grand Canal. It will be finished in the summer of 2008. It has been a controversial project from the start; criticised as an expensive, unnecessary and misplaced vanity project. And there are apparently serious issues about its accessibility to the handicapped. Calatrava did not want to burden the design aesthetics with unsightly wheelchair ramps... The council promised hi-tech lifts, but it's not clear if these have even been designed yet.