Creighton University Pedestrian Bridge

creighton university pedestrian bridge over highway

Creighton University Pedestrian Bridge

Re-Establishing a Vital Community Connection

The Creighton University Medical Center served an integral role in the community for decades by fostering a learning environment in the active, diverse neighborhoods near downtown Omaha. But the U.S. 75 North Freeway that runs just east of the building divides Creighton University’s campus from the neighborhoods to the west. Students had long lived in and visited these neighborhoods, including the Gifford Park neighborhood, one of Omaha’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.

After 40 years of service, the medical center relocated to another part of Omaha and the building was transformed into a state-of-the-art, mixed-use apartment building known as The Atlas. This provided us with the opportunity to facilitate a greater connection and improve accessibility between the campus and the neighborhoods on the other side of the busy freeway, a longstanding concern for Creighton University.

A Collaborative Design

As the lead design firm, we helped the community realize this vision through the design and development of a new pedestrian bridge between the apartment building and Creighton’s campus. The privately funded, $5.7 million covered pedestrian bridge consists of two 240-foot arched truss spans and a 77-foot truss span. This distinctive structure begins at the retail level of The Atlas and ends at an elevator and stair tower on Creighton’s campus. The bridge’s design allows for the addition of another span to connect the elevator tower to a future building at Creighton.

This project required collaboration with numerous parties, including the City of Omaha, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Creighton University and the apartment building’s developer, NuStyle. Using a construction manager/general contractor process allowed the contractor to collaborate with our team and the owner during the design phase to identify potential risks and provide cost projections. This helped the project meet the budget and accelerated 20-month schedule that were priorities for NuStyle and Creighton University.

Not only does the bridge link the more than 700 living units at The Atlas directly to Creighton, but it also provides better access to Gifford Park. “Having that connection back is great,” a Gifford Park Neighborhood Association board member told the local newspaper.

Throughout the design and construction processes, our comprehensive community outreach plan included several methods of informing and educating drivers and residents about the project’s purpose, impacts and schedule. We conducted various meetings and interviews with community stakeholders to address public concerns and inform our design. Community input was integrated into a final design that was committed to sustainability, safety and environmental awareness.

Explore Our Bridge Design Experience 

creighton university pedestrian bridge over highway

Awards

Merit Award (2019)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska