Salisbury, Md. — Andrews, Miller & Associates, a Division of Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. (AMA/DBF) recently teamed with marine contractor Dissen & Juhn Company (DJC) to help design and construct a 586-foot-long pedestrian bridge at Stevenson University’s campus in Owings Mills, Md.

With a steadily and rapidly growing student body, Stevenson University purchased a 28-acre site in 2012 which neighbored their Greensprings campus. This new site in Owings Mills already included two buildings with a collective footprint of nearly 170,000 square feet and a 400-space parking lot. As a result, the University was able to quickly relocate their School of the Sciences and their School of Design from Greensprings to Owings Mills.

The only drawback to the new site was a required shuttle bus ride for students who needed to commute between the two campus sites; the Greensprings and Owings Mills campuses were separated by the Gwynns Falls and dense woodlands. To resolve this situation, University personnel worked with the Maryland Department of General Services to obtain an easement which would allow for construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting the two locations.

Beginning in late 2015, AMA/DBF and DJC worked with University officials and David S. Brown Enterprises, the general contractor, on this design-build project. The goal was to create a bridge that would meet everyone’s needs.

“The terrain and existing utilities presented some design challenges, but those did not detract from the resulting elegant design,” said DBF Structural Engineer Andrew Welch, P.E.

Spanning Gwynn Falls, a 25-mile stream running through Baltimore County, the pedestrian bridge winds over rocky grounds, water, and occasional thickets of trees. As its five serpentine-style curves twist between the two campuses, the bridge reaches 24 feet at its highest point. AMA/DBF’s specific contribution to the project included design plans for the timber portions of the structure and a scour protection study. Additionally, the firm coordinated portions of the bridge with a glulam (glued laminated timber) manufacturer for two separate clear span areas that crossed a sewer/utility easement area and a defined portion of the Gwynns Falls.

The pedestrian bridge was completed and, following a dedication ceremony in April 2017, renamed The Dell Family Pathway in honor of Samuel M. Dell III, a member of the Stevenson University Board of Trustees, and his family. With its generous lighting, multiple emergency stations marked by special blue lights, and two viewing platforms, the 12-foot-wide bridge is currently being utilized by university students for its first full semester.