Veterans Memorial Bridge Case Study
The Veterans Memorial Bridge replaced an aged and crumbling span linking South Portland to the former pre-interstate gateway to the city of Portland, where once an area visitors center greeted travelers as they entered on U.S. Route 1. The design-build response to a Maine DOT request for proposals creatively realigned the former road network, improving vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian flows while minimizing environmental impacts and restoring green space.
With a 100+ year design life, the bridge design process focused on the aesthetic integration of this important piece of civic infrastructure through a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) public involvement process. With a focus on recognizing our veterans’ service to our country, the design is anchored on both shores with gateway plazas and memorial plaques, and three overlooks on the bridge provide points of observation over the harbor with benches and interpretive signage. These five points of emphasis reflect the five branches of the United States military, and unique custom-fabricated sculptural “reeds” herald each and recall the natural vegetation nearby. Custom-fabricated pedestrian lighting, high-efficiency roadway lights, and accent lights highlight the bridge’s dynamic presence at night while providing safe and secure passage for all users.
The Veterans Memorial Bridge replacement project was a model of efficient, economical, public infrastructure development, providing a highly functional and aesthetically responsive solution to a critical need.