Mars Hill/Lowell Observatory Bridge Project

Bridge Site and Supporting Design

Lowell Observatory is a local gem amid the friendly City of Flagstaff, Arizona. Currently, Lowell Observatory brings approximately 80,000 visitors in each year and they would like to increase this number significantly by building a large, wooden, Town Lattice Truss bridge on the site. Additionally, Lowell Observatory is considering developing a restaurant on one side of the bridge to add just one more reason to visit the Observatory. Lowell Observatory is located on Mars Hill, a small, ponderosa pine covered area that is green and beautiful. Mars Hill is located just northwest of Northern Arizona University. The bridge will span 120 feet across a small ravine just inside the pillars that mark the Observatory property and will please the eye as drivers enter the property. The design is currently underway and is mainly comprised of structural and geotechnical elements, including retaining walls to allow for the bridge to tie into the existing roadway, and trusses for support of both the bridge and its roof. Visitors to the area will be pleased with the results of this magnificent structure, in the beautiful forest setting.

Mars Hill/ Lowell Observatory would like to have a bridge designed going across a ravine at the project site. This bridge would start from the existing developed side of the ravine going to the undeveloped side.

Work to finish the project includes: the design of the bridge and material selection, a re-alignment of the roadway in order to tie the bridge into existing traffic on Mars Hill road., geotechnical design, foundation design and the design of earth retaining walls to accommodate the steep terrain in the area.

This design will be presented to William Putnam who is the sole trustee of Lowell Observatory and Nat White who is the representative for Lowell Observatory Trust.  They in turn will present it to Lowell Observatory Board of Trustees, financial investors, and the City of Flagstaff

Last Updated: 4/8/2011