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Aesthetic Enhancements Through the Community Workshop Process. Fifth Street over the Great Miami River Dayton, Ohio. Presentation By:Jeffrey L. Griffin, PE Burgess & Niple, Inc. Project Location. Site Description.

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Fifth Street over the Great Miami River Dayton, Ohio

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Aesthetic Enhancements Through the

Community Workshop Process

Fifth Street over the Great Miami RiverDayton, Ohio

Presentation By:Jeffrey L. Griffin, PE

Burgess & Niple, Inc.

Project Location

Site Description

  • Fifth Street Bridge connects downtown Dayton to the historic Wright Dunbar area, home of the Wright Brothers and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

  • The bridge carries approximately 15,000 vehicles per day and significant pedestrian traffic from the adjacent Sinclair Community College campus.

  • The bridge is a vital and highly visible transportation link for the city.

Looking east, towards downtown Dayton

Former Bridge - Site Photographs

Looking west, towards Wright-Dunbar district

Former Bridge

  • The former Fifth Street Bridge was a closed spandrel - filled arch structure constructed in 1916.

  • The bridge consisted of seven spans and was approximately 620 feet in length.

  • It was owned and maintained by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Former Bridge

New Bridge Appearance

  • ODOT Scope of Services – “Aesthetic values will be incorporated in the design. Possibilities include lighting, color, texture, and patterns”

  • Funding for aesthetic enhancements was limited

  • Build bridge desired by community with money ODOT was willing to spend ($7.3 million)

Process for Determining Aesthetic Enhancements

  • Conduct Opinion Leader interviews

  • Determine potential aesthetic opportunities, based on interviews

  • Conduct workshop with community leaders to discuss design preferences for new bridge

  • Develop renderings based on workshop input

  • Conduct second workshop to finalize aesthetic enhancements

  • Develop design based on second workshop input

Opinion Leader Interviews

  • Question: “What does the community want to see after the new bridge is built?”

  • City of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, and Dayton Chamber of Commerce were interviewed, among others.

  • Answer: “Give us an arched bridge.”

Potential Aesthetic Opportunities

  • Other Great Miami River bridges in Dayton

  • Architectural influences in downtown area

  • Modern, Victorian, Classical, and Art Deco exist in close proximity to bridge

  • Architectural style impacts railing, lighting, and concrete color and texture

Stewart Street Bridge

(Built 1910-1911)

Dayton’s Great Miami River Bridges

Washington Street Bridge

(Built 1905-1906)

Dayton’s Great Miami River Bridges

Monument Avenue


(Built 1908-1909)

Edwin C. Moses

Boulevard Bridge

(Built 1925-1926)

Architectural Influences

Art Deco



Architectural Influences – ModernSinclair Community College

Architectural Influences – VictorianWright Dunbar

Architectural Influences - Classical

Workshop #1 – Determine Design Preferences

  • Describe scope of project

  • Display images of project area (both bridges and architectural styles of buildings)

  • Present examples of aesthetically-enhanced railing, lighting, and concrete color/texture from other bridges

  • Reach consensus on style (classical and art deco were preferred)

  • Ten different agencies were represented at Workshop #1

Develop Renderings Based on Workshop #1 Input

  • Criteria

    • Unique

    • Conventional materials

    • Construction “friendly”

    • Cost effective

  • Previous experience aesthetic detail development

  • Numerous iterations/debates/arguments

  • B&N team included an architect, a graphic artist, bridge engineers, and other interested observers

  • Still friends afterward

Classical Styling

Art Deco Styling

Similarities Between Classical and Art Deco

  • Both used conventional concrete I-beam interior beams with spliced haunched fascia girders for arched bridge appearance

  • Both utilized conventional materials and construction methods

  • Both met ODOT cost objectives for project

Workshop #2 – Finalize Aesthetic Enhancements

  • Renderings presented for classical and art deco styling

  • Recorded comments and preference from each workshop participant

  • Both received positive comments from nearly everyone

  • Art deco most preferred

  • Community grateful for opportunity to participate in design process

Interior Beams

Fascia Girder Transportation

Temporary Shoring


Pier Pylons

Construction Costs

  • Construction of the Fifth Street Bridge was completed in 2003.

  • The total construction cost for the project was approximately $6.7 million.

  • The cost of the new bridge alone (not including removal of the existing bridge) was $5.4 million, or $97 per square foot of bridge deck.

  • The cost of the bridge superstructure was $3.0 million, or $54 per square foot of bridge deck.

Design Awards – PCI 2004 Design Award, 2004 PCA Bridge Design Award of Excellence

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