Villanova Pedestrian Bridge
Chris Seaman, P.E., CBSI
Highways, Streets & Structures
Traffic signal design
Highway Occupancy Permitting
Bridge and structural design
Preparation of plans, specification and estimate
McMahon was engaged by Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP (VMA) to complete the engineering and design of a pedestrian bridge and associated roadway improvements as part of Villanova University's campus improvement project. Villanova's ultimate vision was to transform an existing paved surface parking lot between Lancaster Avenue and the SEPTA Norristown High Speed Rail Line into an attractive living and learning environment featuring Collegiate Gothic style student housing, student-centric retail, a performing arts center, and a parking garage. McMahon worked closely with VMA and project team to complete the structural design of an integral par of this campus transformation: The pedestrian bridge, spanning busy Lancaster Avenue between the St. Thomas of Villanova Church and the SEPTA rail platform.
The purpose of this project was to provide a safe, direct and pedestrian friendly connection between the main campus to the north of Lancaster Avenue and the residence halls on University's South Campus, as well as commuters from the SEPTA light rail platform. To place this structure in the most desirable location, McMahon designed a new vehicular access located to the west of the structure, which served to further separate vehicular and pedestrian movements. The structure consists of multiple segments adorned with architectural features, including an 81'-11" single-span bridge over Lancaster Avenue and a central pavilion with elevator and stair access between ground and bridge-level walking surfaces. Construction of the pedestrian bridge began in February of 2017 and the bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic in March of 2018.