Frederick Gottemoeller - Bridgescape LLC

Bridges Speak To Us

Consider the Whole Problem

testThe Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge. The community asked that the bridge frame the sunset, not block it.

1. Look and Listen

There is no substitute for first-hand knowledge of the site, the owner, the people who will use the bridge and those who will be its neighbors. Areas that must be investigated include topography and geology, clearances, loads and utilities, environmental and urban context and community preferences and aspirations. This step establishes all of the criteria that the project must meet and all of the concerns that will act on it. Bridges and highways being public works, gaining this knowledge will inevitably involve many people. Mr. Gottemoeller is adept at effectively gathering their views through structured interviews and public involvement processes, even in contentious situations.

MonFayette Expressway over the Monongahela River. Providing a platform for enjoying the rowing races was a key goal.

2. Define the Goals

Mr. Gottemoeller enlists the participation of all concerned parties to write a Vision Statement, an organized list of all of the technical and visual design goals that the project must meet, including its budget. Since all concerned parties are involved from the beginning, the owner can be assured that the final concept will meet with general approval at the end.

West End Bridge Pedestrian Bridge over the Ohio River. Landscape architects worked out how best to use the area below the bridge.

3. Work as a Team

Designing bridges and highways requires the skills and insights of many professionals. Because of his knowledge of both architecture and engineering and his experience in government and community involvement, Mr. Gottmoeller can quickly develop effective working relationships with the design engineers and other specialists and translate to them the aspirations and needs of the community. The result is a productive, collaborative, interdisciplinary team.

Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Missouri River. Concrete Alternate

4. Develop Many Concepts

Finding the right solution requires considering a wide range of possibilities. The more concepts that are considered, the better the chance that the one concept will be found that becomes a landmark and fulfills the community's Vision. Mr. Gottemoeller works to broaden the range of possibilities under consideration while ensuring constant comparisons of engineering effectiveness, elegance (using comparative three dimensional drawings and models) and cost. With accurate comparative information on effectiveness, elegance and economy the community and the owner can make sound, well-reasoned judgments and select the concept which best meets their goals.

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Finding the right bridge is a cause for celebration.

5. Build the Best One

During final design and construction questions will come up that must be answered in ways that protect and enhance the selected concept. Details of railings, wall treatments and colors must be developed that are consistent with and contribute to the selected concept. By paying attention to all of the visible elements of the project throughout these stages, Mr. Gottemoeller ensures that the final product will meet the needs and aspirations of the community and the owner. The result is a project that is an asset to its community, one that will be an object of pride throughout its life.

"Time passes quickly; quality endures."

A comment on the Golden Gate Bridge