The Campo Volantin Footbridge provides a strikingly modern pedestrian crossing of the Neruion River estuary, midway between Bilbao's Parque Etxabarria and City Hall and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The bridge has a total span of 75 meters (246 feet). Its principal structural element is an arch that is 15.3 meters deep (50 feet). In 1990, Calatrava created a design for what was then known as the Uribitarte Bridge site, on behalf of a client engaged in an exchange of land with the Municipality of Bilbao. The present design was commissioned in 1994 by a new client — the local government — which was sympathetic to the original idea of making an urban statement but wanted to avoid any association with the project's previous circumstances.
The bridge now takes its name not from the Uribitarte (on the left bank of the Neruion River estuary) but from the Campo Volantin, the street on the right bank. The most famous walkway in Bilbao, the Campo Volantin is a treelined drive flanked by gardens, palaces and gracious residential buildings, running between City Hall and La Salve Square. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao stands opposite La Salve Square on the left bank of the estuary. The tilted steel arch of the bridge appears graceful and slim as it crosses the Neruion River. Its sweeping parabolic form is echoed in the plan of the glass-surfaced deck, giving the bridge a pronounced contrast of materials. The translucent deck has a tighter radius than its supporting cradle, which is reinforced by a gently inflected steel tube. The tube, placed at right angles to the embankment, is audaciously carried by concrete arms that extend from the approach structure.
1990 - 1997