How To Build a Buffalo Bayou Pedestrian Bridge: A Photo Tutorial

Do make sure you have access to a good vat of hot molten zinc. And then you can follow the rest of the steps landscape architects SWA Group took to insert the 345-ft. Jackson Hill pedestrian bridge over Buffalo Bayou:


The site just west of Waugh, linking Jackson Hill and Dunlavy, is cleared to make way for the cranes and other machinery. (The next step, writes SWA, is replanting it all.)

And piers are drilled 50 ft. down into the banks:

. . . then filled with rebar and concrete:

Meanwhile, the 40-ft. supports are dunked in what SWA claims is the largest dipping tank in North America . . .

. . . and given a nice steam bath in the hot molten zinc.

Then they’re trucked to the site and bolted down:

The firm says the bridge comprises 6 of these sections that were then bolted together on site before they being lifted into place:

Next, says the firm, guardrails will be added and lighting installed. The bridge should be ready for use in a few months.

Photos: SWA Group

15 Comment

  • Freaking awesome photos. The zinc galvanizing pictures were really neat to see.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • This is AWESOME. Man I love this project.

  • Golf clap to everyone involved in this project.

  • Agreed; really cool spread of photos..

  • Am I seeing things or is there ANOTHER bridge going up by the police memorial?

  • This is such an awesome addition to the park. I’m so happy that we’re getting this. Good for Houston! I just hope that its maintained when its finished. It’s a shame that the decorative lighting features on the other bridge and other areas in the park aren’t maintained. I don’t mean to nitpick, just sayin’.

  • 50 feet piers and all of that to hold me and my bike up and safe. Aw, man I am so flattered,

  • JB3, There is another bridge planned. It will connect the trail on the north side of the Bayou to the Police Memorial grounds which are locked beween the Bayou and Memorial Drive, making that site pedestrian accessible.

  • The aesthetics are cool and the project as a whole a real winner–nice photos of a much needed perpendicular artery over Buffalo Bayou Park

  • Those bridges probably come with directions like, insert steel A into slot B. I’m pretty sure.

  • Freddy, i’d just note that the piers are probably designed more for the hurricane type flood waters rather than a few pedestrians with bikes.

    now is theis bridge going to be open for the fireworks is what i want to know?

  • Wonderful photos!

  • This is going to be beautiful!! Thanks so much for sharing, it makes me feel a part of it! Keep up the great work!!

  • Great job Swamplot. You reinforce my civic pride.

  • I’d guess that the galvanizing occurred at AZZ Galvanizing on the north side of town. Seeing the process in person is fascinating. For those that are interested, I think anyone can participate in Steel Day which is an annual event for individuals from various professions to see how the structural steel industry contributes to building America. Very cool.