Southeast Park Bridge

City of Franklin | Franklin, TN

When the City of Franklin, TN, purchased land for a new park on the southeast side of the city, they realized that this area could serve the community not only as the newest park in the city but also as a prime location for a new water treatment facility.

Benesch worked closely with the city’s park engineering team to design a new access road and bridge across the Harpeth River. This bridge would need to provide access to the park and the treatment facility, accommodate future infrastructure and be an aesthetically pleasing design.

Because the project was in a rapidly growing part of Franklin, the overall design needed to minimize the impact on the existing residents, while also accommodating the type of materials that would need to be delivered to the project site. With a bridge span of over 500 feet, the lengthy girders alone presented a challenge. The project team reviewed multiple alternatives and decided that a temporary bridge would be required. This reduced construction traffic through existing neighborhoods while also providing the necessary access to the contractor.

Due to the roadway bridge’s location near the Harpeth River, the existing alluvial soils needed to be addressed. Several foundation improvement options were considered since these soils would be subjected to an additional 20 feet of fill to support the new roadway. Foundation improvements using rammed aggregate piers proved to be the most cost-effective option.

The new structure’s aesthetic features included bridge lighting, decorative finishes and custom bridge railings, providing a welcoming experience for the gateway into the park.

Practice Areas


  • 2022, Grand Award, American Council of Engineering Companies - Tennessee