East Norfolk Avenue Bridge

Norfolk, Nebraska

East Norfolk Avenue is one of the main roadways in Norfolk, Nebraska, and it connects downtown with the city’s growing eastside neighborhood. The road needed widening to handle increased traffic, and the bridge was in such disrepair that it needed to be replaced. The city saw this as an opportunity to ease congestion and revitalize and extend its downtown corridor, so it selected our firm to conduct conceptual design, final design, and construction administration for the project. We brought together multiple internal teams to manage the complex design.

A traffic analysis that followed guidelines provided by the city, the Nebraska Department of Roads, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers was completed and, based on the data collected, determined a five-lane bridge structure was needed.

Our bridge design group designed the Norfolk Avenue Bridge to satisfy transportation needs and to enhance the natural landscape of the adjacent site. By using high-strength material and modern design and construction methodologies, the single-span bridge was designed to open the site for a pedestrian underpass and to improve the capacity of the North Fork of the Elkhorn River. Collaboration with city leaders and landscape architects led to features such as textured walls, pedestrian lighting, ornamental railing, natural painting, and textured concrete. These features worked to extend the downtown commercial area and add a high-aesthetic value.

The project included a below-grade crossing of a trail running parallel with the river that provides for a landmark experience for Norfolk’s expanding trail system. Large stone retaining walls were part of the trail design and add to the aesthetics of the project. Residents enjoy using the bike trail, which connects existing trails on either side of the road.

We provided a multidisciplinary strategy that included survey; general civil design; bridge structural design; water resources; landscape architecture; roadway and pedestrian lighting; traffic signal design; construction observation and administration; material testing; and staking. Our environmental team did the necessary U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting for the project. Olsson Studio provided early project visualizations of the final design product in the form of rendered pictures and videos.  

Project Awards

2017 Outstanding Achievement award from the American Concrete Institute, Nebraska Chapter


Matt Rief

Grand Island, Nebraska


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