Long Span Bridges & Vibrations

Full Session with Abstracts

343155-4 - Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge – A First in the U.S.

Saturday, April 21
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: 102

Completed in 2012, the Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge is the first arch-supported stress ribbon bridge in the United States. A simple stress ribbon band is probably the most minimalistic design approach for a pedestrian bridge. There are two main challenges, however, with this type of structure: the significant geometrical sag of the ribbon which would violate ADA restrictions, and the high horizontal anchorage forces in the foundations. Both of these challenges are overcome with the introduction of a central arch supporting the ribbon at midspan, thus reducing the ribbon sag and counteracting the high ribbon anchorage forces with the offsetting arch thrust reactions. The bridge is composed of precast concrete deck panels bolted to twin parallel continuous steel plates draped over a steel arch.
There are two other benefits of this bridge type: outstanding aesthetics and a slender hydraulic profile. Aesthetics were critical given the bridge’s prominent location spanning the Trinity River between a vibrant downtown area and Fort Worth’s largest park. With spans of up to 160 feet with only a 10 inch deck depth, the bridge is extremely slender and elegantly floats over the landscape.
The bridge is located in a critical urban floodway and will be overtopped with up to 12 feet of water during floods. The bridge had to be designed to withstand this flooding structurally, but also had to have a slender profile in order to meet USACE requirements of not increasing floodwater elevations.
This presentation is targeted to an international audience of bridge design professionals.

Peter A. Bartels

Structural Engineer
Freese and Nichols, Inc.

Peter is a structural engineer with 17 years plus experience in the design of bridges and infrastructure projects throughout North Texas.


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343155-4 - Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge – A First in the U.S.

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