Ho-Chunk Nation Old 131 Trail Bridges Replacement and Rehabilitation

Awards ,

2019 Engineering Excellence Award | State Finalist

Entering Firm: Jewell Associates Engineers Inc.
Client: Ho-Chunk Nation
Category: Structural Systems


In order to preserve and enhance one of the most used trails in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, the Ho-Chunk Nation decided to rehabilitate the Old 131 Trail. The trail connects tribal members with each other and facilitates public travel through the scenic area. However, redesign required a design plan sensitive to tribal concerns and local environmental conditions.

Jewell Associates knew that the heavily-used trail was in need of upgrades. The team reconditioned the trail to provide maintenance and EMS vehicles access but focused on pedestrian traffic. The redesign preserved local plants important for the cultural resources of the tribe and enhanced the native beauty of the area. In line with that goal, the design team also provided a traditional model for a bridge over the Kickapoo River: a covered bridge. A new take on this classic design integrated the design with local flair and provides a haven for trail users during storms. It also paid homage to the historical significance of the bridge for the tribe. While constructing the bridge, major flash flooding posed a threat so the entire superstructure was moved outside the floodplain. This kept workers safe, kept the project on time and avoided any environmental contamination.

Jewell’s sensitive approach prioritized cultural and historical significance and delivered a new trail and covered bridge that met the needs of the community.

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