‘Fanny’ Appleton Pedestrian Bridge Cited in National Engineering Competition

STV, which collaborated with Miguel Rosales of Rosales + Partners of Boston, has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies 53rd annual Engineering Excellence Awards for engineering the Frances “Fanny” Appleton Pedestrian Bridge.

The bridge celebrates the marriage of Fanny Appleton and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose namesake bridge lies just to the east. The 14-foot-wide, 750-foot-long ADA-compliant structure is comprised of 550 continuous feet of elevated steel superstructure with 100-foot concrete ramp abutments at each end. A steel fascia plate along the entire length of the superstructure creates a ribbon-like appearance, curving in all directions, and branching to stairs and a scenic overlook plaza. 

With no center piers, the 222-foot-long main span appears to float over Storrow Drive, which separates the Charles River Esplanade from the city. Approach spans weave through the trees, allowing users to experience the park from a height near the tree canopies. 

“It is fitting that the Frances Appleton Bridge continues to win both architectural and engineering national awards as it exemplifies a bridge that is not only functional and cost effective, but also beautiful and well integrated into the parkland setting,” wrote Miguel Rosales, the award-winning bridge designer and longtime Beacon Hill resident who designed the $12.5 Appleton Bridge as a major component of the $300 million-plus rehabilitation of the iconic Longfellow Bridge. “I am grateful that [the Massachusetts Department of Transportation] and [the Department of Conservation and Recreation] were both very supportive of the bridge aesthetics and design, which allowed the bridge to be completed with the highest standards of visual quality. With its elegant detailing, subtle lighting and transparency, the bridge perfectly complements its park setting and the adjacent historic Longfellow Bridge.”    

The joint venture team, WSC, consisted of J.F. White Contracting Company, Skanska and Consigli Construction Co., with STV as engineer-of-record. Founded more than 100 years ago, STV is a leader in providing engineering, architectural, planning, environmental and construction management services for transportation systems, infrastructure, buildings, energy and other facilities.

The project is eligible for additional honors as part of a record 203 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 35-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top winners—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, April 28, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The American Council of Engineering Companies is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.

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