The 2014 Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, Engineering Excellence - Grand Award - Regional

The 2014 Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, Engineering Excellence - Grand Award - Regional

Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, RS&H and Oelrich Construction receive the 2014 Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, Engineering Excellence Awards - Regional Grand Award for their outstanding design and construction of the Depot Avenue Rail-Trail Pedestrian Bridge

In 2009, the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (GCRA) desired to transform the tattered Depot Avenue pedestrian bridge into a vivid structure that reflected the city’s image and history.  While the stockade-like enclosure did keep pedestrians sage, the GCRA envisioned a striking gateway that also enhanced the city’s multimodal transportation.

The GCRA outlined several themes for the artistic redesign, including displaying the city’s railroad history, reflecting current technological trends, and showcasing the Gainesville’s commitment to sustainability.

The resulting RS&H-designed bridge features a simulated railroad track twisted into a vibrantly colored DNA strand, as well as a plaza and staircase to link the rail-trail system to an extensive network of multimodal access points.  Numerous sustainable efforts were incorporated, including recycling the demolished pedestrian cover structure, reusing eh existing bridge superstructure, using recyclable aluminum, and implementing a rain garden for stormwater management.  At night, the structure illuminates with efficient LED lighting.

Well-coordinated public involvement; strong collaboration between RS&H, the Oelrich Construction team, the GCRA and multiple agency and community stakeholders; and a unique design process contributed greatly to the completion of the new overpass.  Ultimately, the pedestrian bridge was converted into an iconic gateway that is embraced by the community.

Hall. D. (2014). Engineering Excellence Award Competition. Florida Engineering Society Journal, January 2014,7. fieng.org

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