South Smith Road over Turtle Creek Bridge Replacement
2022 Engineering Excellence State Finalist
Entering Firm: Ayres Associates
Client: Rock County Public Works Department
It was the best of bridges, it was the worst of bridges. The replacement of the bridge over Turtle Creek is a tale of two structures. Originally built in 1910, the original bridge was a local landmark with historical significance. However, the old structure supported one-way traffic, has a low weight limit and was showing its age.
Ayres Associates designed a plan to meet all needs. The first step was a new bridge. Because Turtle Creek is environmentally sensitive, the team created a solution to minimize work done near the waterway. In the end, the environmental documentation was almost double the size of a usual bridge replacement. The new concrete slab structure minimizes environmental impacts and can accommodate a unique design. The bridge will serve the community for decades.
The second step was preservation of the old bridge. It was eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places and was important to many locals. The Department of Transportation provided funds to help move the historic structure and a local farmer found a spot for the bridge on his family farm. It was carefully transported and has a new home.
This tale of two structures shows how new infrastructure can provide for community needs and that old infrastructure can be preserved as well.