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Vanderbilt University - 21st Avenue Bridge

Nashville, Tennessee



Vanderbilt University


Carpenter Wright Engineers, PLLC


Centex Rodgers, Inc.


September 2002

At Vanderbilt University, school officials became concerned over the increased pedestrian traffic across 21st Avenue, which divided two campuses. To solve the problem and ensure student safety, Wilson Architects was hired by Vanderbilt to connect the two campuses with a pedestrian bridge.

“We wanted an attractive structure that would compliment the historic buildings on campus and fit into the overall campus theme” said Edward Belbusti, the University’s architect. “The Capstone® style bridge does that”

Wilson Architects enhanced the structure’s appearance by using brick and cut stone masonry accents. These design elements blended with the steel bridge and visually tied it to the overall campus theme. Pedestrians can easily access the bridge from either side of 21st Avenue using a series of on grade ramps. Additionally, two Connector® style bridges create an open-air breezeway, wrapping around a science and medical research building.

This project was not only a success for Vanderbilt; it received national recognition when the 21st Avenue Bridge project was awarded the “Short Span Merit Award” by the National Steel Bridge Alliance in 2003. An additional Capstone® style pedestrian bridge was installed on 21st Avenue in late Spring 2007.


Technical Description:

  • Width: 10 ft
  • Span: 105 ft
  • Style: Capstone®
  • Finish: Painted
  • Decking: Concrete

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