In 1972, a pedestrian bridge was installed across 84th Street, providing students attending Papillion Middle School with a safe crossing. After 45 years of service, the bridge was deteriorating and parents became increasingly concerned about their children's safety while using the bridge. Studies showed that each day, 30-40,000 cars use 84th Street and 1,400 students are in the area. It was imperative that the bridge be replaced quickly and cost efficiently with an ADA compliant option.
As the best replacement option, a 90'-6" x 8'-7" Capstone®-style Continental® Pedestrian Bridge from Contech Engineered Solutions was selected and installed. The truss bridge was selected for its quick installation, ADA compliance, and cost savings.
"The aesthetic character of the structure had an overwhelming response from the community, staff, and elected officials," stated Jeff Thompson, P.E., City Engineer, with the city of Papillion. "There is no doubt it will be a staple in the community for years to come."
Due to the project schedule, demolition of the original structure and installation of the new bridge occurred during the school year. Vrana Construction, the project's contractor, successfully managed traffic on 84th Street and safe passage for the schoolchildren during construction. The original structure was removed at night, so while the bridge was out of service, the students were directed a couple blocks north to an alternate crossing at a signalized intersection with crosswalks.
"It was a pleasure to take part in building a structure with such great character and to work with a project team that made this project a notable success," added Noal Schinzel, Project Manager, with Vrana. "The structure is a well needed, and grand addition to the community."
Continental's prefabricated bridge system, complete with 410' of 8'-7" wide ramps, 55' of 6'-7" wide stairs, lighting, and "Papillion" signs on either side, provided the perfect solution for the tight construction schedule and limited site. Despite the small staging area, Vrana carefully planned the assembly of the substructure and the superstructure in a particular sequence so that the critical equipment necessary for installation was able to access the areas. Cooperation from the school and the city of Papillion was also very helpful in allowing lane and adjacent parking lot closures as needed, particularly while school was not in session.
"The support, coordination, and quality we experienced on this project from Contech, all the design professionals, contractors, and owner representatives were some of the best I have seen in my 25+ years of experience," concluded Gary Norton, P.E., Project Engineer, with Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner, Inc. "Pappillion now has a safe, ADA compliant structure for all children and residents to use, as well as a signature structure welcoming people into their community."