Branch Street Trestle
The Branch Street Trestle was originally built for railroad traffic in 1910. Use as a railroad bridge was discontinued in the late 1970’s. The Great Rivers Greenway District took this abandoned elevated train trestle approximately ½-mile in length, and repurposed it to serve as a unique bicycle and pedestrian experience featuring exceptional views of the Mississippi River.
DMA structural engineers conducted detailed inspections of the trestle superstructure to document and evaluate the existing conditions. We performed structural analysis for several modification scenarios to evaluate their feasibility and determine the best approach for refurbishing the superstructure to accommodate a walking and biking path, green spaces, plants and garden areas. Capacity for service and maintenance vehicle loading was also a consideration.
Construction included removal of the existing railroad track and ties and replacement with a decorative concrete bridge deck. During the demolition portion of the project decaying railroad track and ties were removed. The trestle substructure and structural steel was repaired and reused.
Construction of the concrete deck utilized stay-in-place forming systems. Special finishing methods were used to achieve a decorative concrete surface. Ornamental metal handrails were added to provide functional safety and add aesthetic appeal. Original trestle arches were maintained to preserve the history of the structure. Coordination with local businesses, neighboring construction projects and nearby active railroads was key to the successful completion of this project.