Frederick Gottemoeller - Bridgescape LLC

Bridges Speak To Us


Fred Gottemoeller is considered America’s most distinguished bridge architect, an accolade sealed by the universal acclaim for his award-winning Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, DC. He has designed bridges over many of the country’s most important rivers, including the Mississippi, Missouri (2), Ohio, Colorado, Potomac, Susquehanna and Niagara. His bridges include two over National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the St. Croix and the Wekiva and one over a World Heritage Site, Canada’s Cataraqui River and Rideau Canal. Bridgescape, his book on bridge aesthetics, is a ‘bible’ for bridge designers. 

With more than 49 years of experience in the field, Fred uses his skills as both an architect and engineer to create iconic bridges that are both elegant and innovative, such as the Maitland Gateway pedestrian bridge over Interstate 4 in Orlando. His bridges demonstrate that it is not necessary to sacrifice elegance for economy. The Rich Street Bridge across the Scioto River in downtown Columbus, Ohio was built for less than its $14 million budget , yet it has won more than a dozen awards and has become the centerpiece of the “post card” view of Columbus, proving that bridges can be both economical and elegant.

His assignments often require satisfying competing community visions of what their bridge should be. He is well known for his ability to build consensus across the whole community, so that the bridge concept becomes theirs. One example is the Ken Burns Bridge in Worcester, Massachusetts. The design arose through an extensive community participation process.

In 1998 Fred co-organized Thinking Beyond the Pavement, the national conference that launched the Context Sensitive Design movement. He has developed aesthetic design guidelines for the states of Maryland and Ohio, and led seminars on bridge aesthetics for Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, North Carolina, Utah and many professional organizations. His commentary on the aesthetics of recent bridges appears regularly in Aspire, the quarterly magazine of the Precast Concrete Institute.