Vermont's Lime Kiln Bridge wins ACEC Grand Award for transportation

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin receives top honors for historic bridge design

News Vanasse Hangen Brustlin March 08, 2007
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The new Lime Kiln Bridge over the Winooski River in Chittenden County continues to receive accolades. The Vermont section of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) announced this week that the concrete arch structure is the 2007 recipient of its coveted Grand Award for transportation.

The announcement was made at Vermont Engineer's Banquet on Feb. 23. The award will be presented to the consulting firm of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. (VHB) who designed the bridge. The award ceremony will take place at Vermont ACEC‚s annual Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet in June.

The Lime Kiln Bridge is a 298-ft concrete arch that is listed on the state's Register of Historic Places. It spans the Winooski River Gorge and connects the city of South Burlington with the town of Colchester. The bridge, which is owned by both towns, opened to traffic last fall.

"VHB did a masterful job of designing a beautiful modern arch structure that not only replaced a nearly century old historic arch bridge, but did so in a way that pleased both the host municipalities and the state's historic preservation community," said Neale Lunderville, Vermont's transportation secretary. "The Lime Kiln Bridge, as a result, has become one of Vermont's signature transportation projects, and is a classic example of a job well done."

The new Lime Kiln Bridge uses modern materials to emulate the historic design of its predecessor, which was constructed in 1913. It is located just 5 ft from the old structure.

VHB's design allowed an important adjacent rail spur to operate uninterrupted during construction, and maintained continual auto traffic over the old bridge for all but about three weeks.

"Thanks to a high level of collaboration among Colchester & South Burlington, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, VHB and Kubricky Construction, we were able to conquer an array of project challenges like obtaining permits, navigating the difficult terrain of the Winooski Gorge and maintaining access to Vermont's largest airport and St. Michael's College," said Chris Baker, national director of structural engineering for VHB.

"Ordinarily, a span of this length would not require such an elaborate design. The historic nature of the existing bridge, coupled with VTrans‚ desire to retain the bridge's majestic views of the gorge called for a more complex structure," he said.

The ACEC award is the second prestigious accolade showered upon the Lime Kiln Bridge since it's opening.

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