Aesthetics, Design-Build, and Workhorse Bridges

Design requirements for workhorse bridges, such as highway overpasses, underpasses, and interchange ramps, traditionally have been oriented to addressing site constraints, conforming to codes and standards, meeting utilitarian needs, and minimizing construction costs. This practice of exclusively addressing economic and utilitarian requirements has often resulted in a highway landscape that the public characterizes as monotonous or disconnected from the surrounding urban or natural environment. This concern regarding the aesthetics of workhorse bridges has been voiced during the public involvement process. However, many projects are financially constrained, and there is often no dedicated budget for aesthetic enhancements. One of the challenges facing the workhorse bridge designer is how to define cost-effective design strategies to respond to public concerns regarding aesthetics. One approach to addressing aesthetic concerns on workhorse bridges has been developed by design–build teams. Transportation agency owners increasingly have used the design–build process for construction of highway construction projects. Increasingly, the scope of contemporary design–build projects includes requirements related to their visual character. Some of the approaches and strategies to aesthetics that design–build teams have developed are examined, and suggestions are made for ways that these can be applied to more conventional procurement methods. In addition, a case study of a project on I-25 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is presented to illustrate the relationship of a designer–builder’s approach to aesthetics.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01046018
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104555
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:52PM