College Street bridge

Georgetown, Texas

The City of Georgetown is brimming with local flavor and architecture. The low-water crossing over the San Gabriel River that runs through a city park needed to be replaced with a structure that would pass the 100-year design storm, provide pedestrian access across the river, and incorporate the local historic aesthetics. Aguirre & Fields received a 2011 Engineering Excellence Award  for taking a large bridge and transforming it into a monument that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.

 In order for this project to be constructed, it was imperative  that the reconstruction of 3,300 LF of the urban arterial and bridge replacement PS&E package was complete by the end of the State’s fiscal year. The project included Project Management, Roadway Design, Bridge Design and Construction Support. Specifically, the PS&E plans included bridge design, roadway design, pedestrian elements, retaining walls, drainage crossings and illumination. By obtaining commitments from the City and TxDOT, the schedule was condensed and the design began in February of 2008 for an August 2008 letting.

Some of the main design features included:

  • Proposed Bridge consisted of an 11-span, 835-ft pre-stressed Type C beam structure.
  • Bridge was designed 25 ft higher than the existing low water crossing.
  • Pedestrian alcoves were integrated on each side of the bridge for pedestrian gatherings for a beautiful view of the San Gabriel River.
  • Local architectural features from Southwestern University and local churches were incorporated into the bridge design aesthetics.
  • A “church window” bent was designed for the new bridge.
  • North College Street, Park Road, River Haven Road, and East Morrow Drive required reconstruction in order to tie into the new bridge.
  • roundabout (modern traffic circle) was incorporated into the layout on the north side of the river.
  • The center of the traffic circle became a bio-retention pond improving water run-off quality to meet the requirements of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
  • Existing low water crossing was left for additional pedestrian access to Park features.
  • Extensive City coordination was required with regards to aesthetics and heritage trees.
  • 95% Plans were submitted in seven weeks.
  • Construction costs were lower than the City budgeted.

 Aguirre & Fields was able to meet or exceed all deadlines while incorporating the special and sometimes fluid needs of the community.

From the submittal of the proposal through the 95% submittal (within 7 weeks), Aguirre & Fields has continued to show an impressive attention to detail and “doing their homework” which has exceeded expectations of City staff.
— Thomas Benz, P.E., City Engineer