With its wrought iron railings and beautiful brick facade, the 10th Street CSX Railroad Bridge now melds with the East Newport Historic District of Newport, Kentucky. Until recently, the bridge’s appearance was a complete contrast to this otherwise historically preserved area.
In structural distress with an unattractive façade, including exposed utility piping that obstructed sidewalks, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) called on B&N to design a replacement for the bridge.
In close proximity to the East Newport Historic District, the new bridge design needed to address structural issues, and blend into the surrounding community in compliance with Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act. KYTC and B&N invited community leaders and area residents to discuss the aesthetic considerations of the new structure.
Presented with options for brick facades, colors and concrete facing, the attendees’ preferences were noted and used to determine the look of the new structure.
“We utilized public input not only to meet regulatory requirements, but to construct a bridge that complemented the surrounding neighborhood and that the community would be proud to showcase,” notes Sharon Laycock, Environmental Coordinator for KYTC District 6, who facilitated the meeting.
In order to create a vertical clearance for the railroad that met compliance standards, the grade of the roadway was steepened, which affected the pedestrian access to businesses in the area. The solution includes a series of split-level sidewalks with decorative brick retaining walls and stairs to help maintain pedestrian access. Wrought iron handrails add to the visual impact, and the exposed utilities were moved out of site.
According to Laycock and Newport City Manager Phil Ciafardini, the KYTC and community members are very pleased with the final result.
“From comments we have received about the project, we believe it is a great success...both from an engineering standpoint and from a community involvement perspective,” Laycock noted.
Henry Osman, PE, served as project manager for this project.