Olsson Associates


New bridge in Nebraska will extend Norfolk’s downtown

Monday, June 19, 2017

Linda Van Hoosen, Communications

Construction is right on schedule for a new bridge in Norfolk. The bridge will replace the current one on Norfolk Avenue – a major roadway that connects the community’s downtown to the growing East Norfolk neighborhoods. Olsson Associates was hired to conduct conceptual design, final design, and construction administration of the project.

“Olsson was able to bring together multiple internal teams to provide a seamless design of this complex project,” said Jeff Palik, construction project manager. “This kept the project on schedule while ensuring the client was getting the product they wanted.”

Olsson’s Bridge team in Lincoln designed the bridge. Ross Barron served as project manager during the design phase. He said the project offered an opportunity for the City of Norfolk to not just replace a vintage bridge, but to enliven and extend its downtown corridor.

“The addition of a trail underpass, roadway lighting, landscaping, and bridge design aesthetics provide fresh energy to the local businesses,” Ross said. “Trail users will have an improved connection through the center of town, and will enjoy the experience of being next to the creek.”

The East Norfolk Avenue project will be completed in four stages. The first stage – replacement of the current four-lane bridge and development of a new bike trail – is underway and will be finished by the end of this summer. Jeff said the construction phasing of the project was a challenge as they needed to minimize road closures and disruption to local businesses. At first, the plan was merely to replace the bridge, but it has now expanded to include more roadway, lighting, and intersections.

“Once the project is complete, it’s going to change the look of downtown Norfolk,” Jeff said. “We’re widening the roadway and adding a center-turn lane through the roadway. The bridge will have five lanes of traffic on it.”

The second, third, and fourth stages will involve work on a stretch of East Norfolk Avenue west of the new bridge.

Jeff said Norfolk residents are excited about the project and the new bike trail. The project contains many added aesthetic features. The bike trail will cross under the bridge and connect existing trails on either side. Large stone retaining walls, colored concrete, and form-lined concrete will make the bridge appear more appealing from all sides.

“We will also give a downtown Norfolk feel to the bridge by extending a pedestrian lighting and landscaping theme through the project,” Jeff said.

Olsson provided many services including survey, general civil design, bridge structural design, water resources, landscape architecture, roadway and pedestrian lighting, traffic signal design, construction observation, administration, material testing, and staking. The firm's environmental team did the necessary U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permitting for the project. The Olsson Design Studio provided a drawing for the city and residents to visualize what the project will look like when it’s finished.

For project updates, click here.

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