February 2012 – TWM was named a Merit Award winner in the “Structural Systems” category at the 41st Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Luncheon in Bloomington on February 3. The Illinois Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies honored TWM for its work on the MetroBikeLink Signature Bridge over IL Route 159 in Swansea, Illinois.
The same bridge garnered TWM recognition from Bentley Systems, Inc., the engineering software manufacturer. In December, the project was featured in the company’s Extraordinary Infrastructure Projects of 2011 publication, in which the top award in the bridge category went to the Hoover Dam Bypass project.
TWM designed the signature pedestrian bridge over IL Route 159 as part of the St. Clair County Transit District’s extension of the MetroBikeLink Trail in Belleville and Swansea, Illinois. The bridge creates an uninterrupted path for pedestrians and bicyclists along the existing light-rail corridor and makes the busy highway crossing safe for pedestrians. Through the use of pre-cast texturized concrete panels, decorative railing and accent lighting, TWM gave the highly visible typical steel structure bridge the look of a masonry arched bridge, helping to publicize and brand the MetroBikeLink Trail.
The signature bridge was just one piece of a larger bike trail extension project designed by TWM. The section from North End Park to the Swansea MetroLink Station, which was constructed last summer, includes the signature bridge and four other TWM-designed bridges. TWM has also completed design of the adjoining section of MetroBikeLink, further extending it westward to the Memorial Hospital MetroLink Station. These trails are forming the backbone of the bike trail system in St. Clair County, linking MetroBikeLink with “local” trails such as Swansea’s Richland Creek Bikeway and Belleville’s Richland Creek Greenway, providing the opportunity for future expansion of trails throughout the County, and connecting users to MetroLink light-rail stations without the need for a car. This project together with a number of other bike trail projects in the Metro East, are quickly making TWM the “go-to” firm for bike trail design.