Utah Valley University (UVU) Pedestrian Bridge
PROJECT OF THE YEAR FINALIST, BEST PROJECT HIGHWAY/BRIDGE and Award of Merit, Sustainability
OWNER: Utah Dept. of Transportation; Utah Valley University; Utah Transit Authority
LEAD DESIGN FIRM | STRUCTURAL, CIVIL, MEP ENGINEER: WSP USA
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kraemer
ARCHITECT: Method Studio
SUBCONTRACTORS: Olsen Beal; Utah Pacific Bridge & Steel
Now the largest pedestrian bridge in the state, this new connection over Interstate 15 and the Union Pacific and FrontRunner rail lines is a vital connection from the Utah Transit Authority Intermodal Center to the UVU campus, which is home to more than 40,000 students.
A collaboration between UTA, the university and the Utah Dept. of Transportation, the project required extensive coordination and collaboration to ensure everyone was on the same page. The project relocated the significant pedestrian traffic from the I-15 interchange at University Parkway, thus increasing safety, decreasing congestion and improving access to UVU from the Frontrunner commuter train.
Photo by Josh Sletten
Designed to make public transit, biking and walking much safer and more appealing, the project also had to accommodate a tight budget that called for a constructible structural solution that would meet aesthetic requirements. To complement the architecture of the campus, the bridge includes a distinctive custom-peaked roofline that simulates the striking profile of the adjacent Wasatch Mountains. The bridge also includes controllable lighting and a deck-heating system, which help provide weather protection and enhance safety for users. The side enclosures have openings that offer better views and improved air circulation while helping to block noise from vehicles below. The bridge and landing areas have cameras and safety phones that offer additional security.
Photo by Sara Aupperle
The bridge’s slightly curved design accommodates the north-south offset between the eastern and western terminus points on the nearly 1,000-ft-long bridge. A conventional, variable-depth curved plate girder creates a dramatic profile with visual depth and interest. Challenging site constraints presented by the rail and the freeway led to a compromise—a span arrangement that uses longer, heavier and more irregular spans to facilitate access and erection—all worked out in close collaboration with the fabricator, the erector and UDOT for highway closures. Individual spans crossing I-15 and the railroad tracks are nearly 300 ft long, providing 15 ft of practical width between side enclosures and ensuring more comfortable travel for both bikers and pedestrians.
Photo by Sara Aupperle