Home » News » Big R value-engineers Signature Bridge for Macon, GA 'Gateway'

Big R value-engineers Signature Bridge for Macon, GA 'Gateway'

October 31, 2016

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By completely value-engineering this pedestrian crossing from its original concrete spec, this steel tied arch solution from Big R Bridge was able to save the owners significant time and cost while still producing a mighty-fine-looking Signature Bridge

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With its sweeping arches – illuminated by a programable LED lighting system capable of generating 34 billion colors – the bridge has, indeed, become the notable ‘Gateway’ to Downtown Macon and Mercer University that everyone had envisioned. 

It’s more than just a bridge, it’s an economic engine
The new pedestrian bridge provides a safe link for students and residents between The Lofts at Mercer Landing, the University and Five Star Stadium. Its creation is part of the Macon-Bibb Second Street Corridor project, which is an expansive and long-term economic development and neighborhood revitalization initiative funded through the Tax Allocation District created by the former City of Macon prior to consolidation. Its construction was a catalyst in securing almost $50 million in investment to the Tindall Heights area.

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The result of a unique public/private partnership
Big R Bridge is proud to have been part of the Design-Build project team that nurtured the project through from concept to completion. 

David Thompson, Founder and Development VP of Piedmont Construction Group comments:
“It’s a very unique public/private partnership between Sierra Development, Mercer University and the City of Macon to actually envision this, design it, implement it and have it serve a whole bunch of different purposes. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to all work together for the common good.”

A special tip of the Big R hat to Jim Daws at Sierra Development (the developer of The Lofts at Mercer Landing www.liveatlofts.com) for connecting us with the Design Build Team Lead Piedmont Construction Group www.piedmontconstructiongroup.com

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Assembled on site in three days, placed in less than an hour
By staying in close contact with the contractor, structural engineer, and architect, we were able to respond quickly at all stages to ensure a successful project outcome. The bridge was manufactured at our Abingdon, VA facility, assembled on site over three days and lifted into place in less than an hour – with one inch to spare! 

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All parties were pleased with this outcome, and Big R Representatives were on-hand for the dedication ceremony on September 1, the day of the Mercer Bears’ football home opener. Every time a Mercer team wins, the bridge is lit up in the school colors to celebrate. 

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Local media coverage of bridge placement:

New Pedestrian Bridge Serves as Gateway to Macon-Bibb (MBTV 3:11)

Bridge dedication highlights with aerial and LED lighting footage (Mercer YouTube 1:35)

New Pedestrian Bridge Opens as Gateway to Macon (WXGA TV News 1:33)

Night Video of LED Lighting System (The Telegraph 0:57)

Project at a glance:

Name: Mercer Drive Pedestrian Bridge
Location: Macon, Georgia
Owners: Mercer University and Macon-Bibb County 
Developer: Sierra Development
General Contractor: Peidmont Construction Group Inc
Architect: HGOR  
Engineer: T•Y•Lin International Group 

Bridge Erector: Superior Rigging  
Product: Signature Bridge - Steel Tied Arch Pedestrian Bridge
Application: Pedestrian Crossing
Dimensions: Length 151'-10", Width 14'
Installation Time: Approximately three days to assemble bridge on the ground, and one hour to set in place