The urban interchange has earned widespread acceptance in metropolitan areas because the design delivers high capacity within a reduced right-of-way envelope and can favorably influence a project's land acquisition budget. Urban interchanges are equally characterized by various esthetic elements, but the one that interfaces Squaw Peak Parkway with McDowell Road in Phoenix, Arizona, presents a true work of art. Greiner, Inc., Phoenix, designed the $4.1-million urban interchange. Wadsworth Construction Company, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, served as general contractor. Squaw Peak Parkway is carried across McDowell Road on a 221-ft long, single-span bridge of cast-in-place, post-tensioned, concrete box-girder construction. Innovative measures were taken to reduce the visual impact of the overpass and especially its retaining walls that range in height from 6 to 25 ft. The walls were designed with a two-level condition and specified a striated finish up the vertical faces of the concrete. Ornamental cupolas reflect a standard adopted to other structures along the parkway, along with liberal native landscaping. The art applied to this facility, however, makes it distinctive. The bottom chord of the overpass structure features a repetitive series of graphics depicting abstract mountains in a style indigenous to the southwest. Two 15- by 40-ft murals of cultural and urban activity scenes painted on a flat window left in the otherwise textured surface of the underpass walls are the most pronounced use of art. The textured-ribbed finish flanking the murals creates the illusion that the murals are presented within the context of drawn curtains. The pedestrian walkway for the underpass forms mini-plazas with oversized brick pavers set in concentric, semi-circular patterns that focus even further attention on the artworks.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Public Works Journal Corporation

    200 South Broad Street
    Ridgewood, NJ  United States  07451
  • Publication Date: 1990-8

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00497297
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM