For the third consecutive year, Dennis Corporation was awarded an Engineering Excellence Award from the South Carolina Division of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Dennis Corporation was honored for their innovative work on the Roddey Drive Pedestrian Bridge and Sidewalks located in the City of Lancaster, SC. This project received the award in the small projects category.

Engineered and managed by Dennis Corporation, an engineering, surveying and construction management firm located in Columbia, SC, this innovative and cost effective project consisted of a single span pedestrian bridge and an interconnected system of sidewalks along Roddey Drive. The project was designed in order to provide a safe passageway for the high volume of students attending the three schools of North Elementary School, Lancaster Vocational School and Lancaster High School.

Prior to the construction of the pedestrian bridge and sidewalks, pedestrians had to utilize the small, two-lane Roddey Drive vehicular bridge and connecting roads as their only transportation access. Only inches away from traffic, many students were forced to walk along the shoulder of the narrow bridge and roads to attend school each day from local residential neighborhoods. In addition, the small guardrails on Roddey Drive vehicular bridge, dating back several decades, served as the only protective barrier to Gills Creek in the occurrence of an accident involving motorists and pedestrians. The City of Lancaster decided to take immediate action on the matter and selected Dennis Corporation to provide a solution to the pedestrian problem on Roddey Drive and surrounding roads to be completed by the 2008-2009 academic school year.

As one of the oldest cities in South Carolina, the City of Lancaster has a historical presence that they wanted to keep consistent and apply to the new pedestrian bridge design. Dennis Corporation incorporated a single span arched pedestrian bridge made from COR-TEN steel, also known as weathering steel, with a pinewood boardwalk. As the new pedestrian bridge weathers in time, it will form a vibrant bronze rust coating that portrays the look of a historic monument.

In addition, the pedestrian bridge spans completely over Gills Creek, eliminating the need for additional support structures that would cause environmental impacts to the water quality, creek banks, flood plain and potential habitat of Lancaster’s threatened and endangered species.

The completion of sidewalks and a new pedestrian bridge crossing over Gills Creek created a safe pedestrian access route, interconnecting the three school campuses with local neighborhoods. Students and community members are now removed from the roads and onto the safety of the new pedestrian bridge and sidewalks, alleviating the previous safety concerns and making this project a success.

Dennis Corporation is a South Carolina licensed civil engineering, surveying and construction management firm. Dennis Corporation’s specific fields of expertise include civil infrastructure engineering, construction management, construction services, expert witness, intelligent transportation systems, program management, special projects, surveying, traffic engineering and transportation engineering.