In the late 1950s new aesthetic ideals associated with bridge design began to emerge that valued the refinement and proportion of structural members rather than the application of ornamentation or architectural treatment of materials, as seen in bridges from the early-twentieth century. The George J. Cole Memorial Bridge demonstrates a distinctive design aesthetic through its sleek horizontal curve and its banked deck and roadway. In order to achieve a harmonious appearance and visual continuity across the entire span, its horizontal beams were offset and connected by pin-and-hanger assemblies to achieve a continuous curved appearance. Its welded connections also facilitate the clean lines that characterize the bridge. The design of the subject bridge also reflects clear consideration for the site and setting; the bridge is superelevated and rests on tall piers, which minimize obstructed views of the river below and enhances views of the surrounding landscape from the bridge. The bridge complements its natural surroundings, and in 1962 received designation as the Most Beautiful Steel Bridge for a medium span by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). The bridge railing has concrete end posts. A bridge plaque recognizing the bridge as the Most Beautiful Steel Bridge for a medium span in 1962 by the AISC is located on the southeast end post, and a second plaque honoring George J. Cole is located on the northeast end post. Another distinctive feature of the bridge includes original Type 1 barrier railings that consist of a concrete curb and a single aluminum tubular rail mounted on a concrete parapet. The outer faces of the parapets feature incised panels.