Pedestrian Bridge

The Project

Johns Hopkins University constructed a significant safety improvement program for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers along a mile of San Martin Drive at the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus. The $15M upgrade of this public roadway includes improvements such as a 350-foot pedestrian bridge through a forest conservation area; narrowing of roadway travel lanes to provide traffic calming; intersection improvements to add stop signs and slow traffic; new pavement at crosswalks to enhance pedestrian safety; new brick gateways to the campus; new pedestrian and vehicular lighting; and improvements to sidewalks, trails, storm drains, utilities and stormwater systems.

RK&K’s specific responsibilities on the San Martin Drive project include the following: project management; roadway alignment; site grading and drainage; stormwater management (SWM); new lighting; site walkways; bridge design; forest conservation; geotechnical engineering; regulatory approvals; coordination; presentations to the Community; green Infrastructure development; developing driver friendly traffic control plans and phasing to gain community favor.

Much of the project corridor was flanked by Forest Conservation Easements including the area of the proposed pedestrian bridge. In order to permit the project and avoid damage to the mature forest, RK&K came up with the innovative strategy to utilize micropiles as the structural support for the piers and a “top down” construction approach to minimize impacts to the existing tree roots and forest floor in conjunction with an alignment that meandered around the mature trees. The resulting bridge winds through the tree canopy safely connecting the pedestrian walkways on each side of the stream valley.

As an example of our innovative approach to stormwater management, RK&K designed a series of cascading bioswales within the Baltimore City right-of-way (ROW). Much coordination was required with City of Baltimore DOT Planning and DPW to work out the details for the City to allow stormwater management facilities in the ROW for treatment of both public and private impervious area. Ultimately the endeavor was successful with the completion of the bioswale construction along Wyman Park Drive as a testament to the innovative approach to stormwater management and the collaboration between the City, Johns Hopkins and RK&K.

Upon construction completion of the San Martin Drive project in 2017, this project was awarded the Grand Award by ACEC Maryland, an Honor Award by Maryland ASLA and Excellence in Landscape Architecture-General Design from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).

“A major undertaking with lots of impact and associated risk. The execution and outcome was/is outstanding and is a credit to everyone who touched this project. - Bob McLean, PE, Vice President, Johns Hopkins Facilities & Real Estate”

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