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Iconic ‘leaf’ bridge wins prestigious architecture award

Among the winners of the 2019 American Architecture Awards is a 170-ft.-long pedestrian bridge in Lone Tree, Colo. that features a segmental retaining wall abutment and cast-in-place landing and stairs. Denver-based Slaton Bros. Inc. installed the split-face mechanically stabilized earth wall with integral color on the south side approach of the bridge to blend in with its natural surroundings.

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The Lincoln Avenue Pedestrian Bridge connects neighboring communities in south Metro Denver, providing an essential link in a region-wide network of cycling trails, and creates a civic landmark for Lone Tree. “This project answers a need common to so many communities in our world: solutions to multi-modal transit,” says Curt Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, principal in Charge of Design at Fentress Architects, project architect. “Intersections of pedestrian paths and vehicular traffic are growing ever more frequent and important. They are opportunities for civic government to serve their constituents.”

As the form of the bridge—an asymmetric cable-stay—took shape, the design team of Fentress Architects and structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti worked collaboratively to create a balance between structural efficiency and artistic form. Paying homage to the symbolism of the city of Lone Tree, the design team refined the 78-ft., three-dimensional lattice truss in the shape of a sculptural leaf, respectful of the natural beauty of the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Now in its 25th year, the American Architecture Awards are organized by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies to honor the best and next contributions to innovative contemporary American architecture.