Historic Lake Park Concrete Arch Bridge Rehabilitation

Posted By: Darrell Berry ACEC WI News, Awards,

2024 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firms: Mead & Hunt Inc. and Olson & Nesvold Engineers PSC
Client: Milwaukee County

The Milwaukee County Parks Department embarked on a crucial preservation project for Lake Park's historic concrete arch bridge, dating back to 1906. Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and an honored local landmark, the bridge faced permanent closure due to structural concerns.

Mead & Hunt collaborated with Olson & Nesvold Engineers to restore the structure. The team began with analysis to determine the load-bearing capacity of the new precast concrete deck panels. While not strong enough to support vehicular traffic, the rehabilitated bridge supports continued use for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The bridge's historic aesthetic was preserved through concrete repairs, surface coating selection, and color matching. Even the arch design honors the original design. The aesthetic and use of the bridge are exactly what the client wants from the structure.

The reopening of the Historic Lake Park Concrete Arch Bridge, now 116 years old, stands as a triumph, seamlessly blending aesthetic restoration with safety enhancements. This rehabilitation secures the bridge's legacy for at least another 50 years, allowing continued public access through the park and along the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan.

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