Background

The existing Pleasant Drive Bridge over Cummins Creek was considered structurally deficient and had deteriorated to a point beyond repair. The city of Des Moines selected Foth to evaluate possible replacement alternatives and ultimately design the new structure and associated roadway improvements.

Approach

Foth designed a three-span, 80- by 30-foot continuous concrete slab bridge with a 12-foot-wide sidewalk  to replace the aging bridge. Unique features of the design included an aesthetic barrier rail with gothic-shaped blockouts, ornamental metal handrails, and colored concrete sealer on the railings and slab fascia.  Foth coordinated the bridge design with city staff who were responsible for designing a new recreational trail along Cummins Creek. Segmental block retaining walls were designed to retain the bridge berm and allow the trail to pass under the east span. Vandal-resistant underdeck lighting addressed safety concerns for nighttime trail users. Associated work included grading, bridge approach pavement and a new storm sewer. Foth assisted the city during construction with site observation and review of contractor submittals.

Results

The new bridge addressed safety concerns and incorporated aesthetic features which help it blend well with the surrounding established residential neighborhood. The new recreational trails located on and below the bridge provide residents with a recreational resource that is a significant improvement to the area’s trail system.