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Why is the trail covered in a metal box? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just build an elevated platform?

I think it's to keep people from throwing things (or themselves) onto the railroad tracks below.

Thats a pretty long span, the metal truss that you see in the photo is needed to create a bridge that is strong enough. The trusswork is likely above rather than below because of required height for passing CSX trains - and there is the added benefit of not throwing oneself onto the bridge.

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