There’s this pattern of major cities getting paired with major bridges. New York City has the Brooklyn Bridge (and the George Washington Bridge), San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, Charleston has the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
But Charlotte, being the land-locked city that it is, lacks that kind of majestic power symbol. Not that we need it necessarily — that absence hasn’t stopped the city from growing to a population of over 800,000 (with metropolitan Charlotte boasting a population of more than 2.4 million). It hasn’t stopped the city from acquiring 291 Fortune 500 operations, more than 1,300 companies that regionally employ 100 or more workers, and seven Fortune 500 headquarters. It hasn’t stopped the city from winning the bid to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Besides, Charlotte has more walk-able bridges than first meets the eye. Scroll below for some of the most picturesque (yes, these photos are filtered).
Central Avenue bridge
You may have to put up with the rumble of traffic over the Andrew Jackson Highway, but you get the most sweeping spectacle of the city in exchange. Take it in.
Sharon Road West Station pedestrian bridge
The bridge itself holds the aesthetic appeal. The skyline is nowhere in sight and the bridge rises between a parking lot and an industrial strip. But once you climb the two flights of stairs and cross to the center of the walkway to stand over the Blue Line rails, the world seems to slow down in a wind-whipped wave of quiet.
East Third Street bridge over Little Sugar Creek
Sure you can hang over this bridge and gaze at the water, but the best part is crossing into Thompson Park and going down the stairs to the greenway path. It feels like you’re standing under the surface of the skyline where the city sounds are muffled just enough to hear your own thoughts.
Ah yes, the ever-Instagrammed Matheson bridge. While this isn’t the most serene spot to stand with traffic at your back, the contrast of tracks against cityscape is astonishing.
Sedgefield Park bridge
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Photos: Katie Toussaint