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Minisa Bridge Rehabilitation

This rehabilitated structure is beloved by area residents and heavily used by pedestrians and motorists. Students cross the 250-foot-long bridge to walk from their neighborhoods on the west side of the Little Arkansas River to North High School on the east bank. The four-lane bridge carries 13th Street over the river about 1 mile north of downtown at the crossroads of three communities.

 

Minisa Bridge, Wichita, Kansas
By 2007, the bridge had severely deteriorated. In addition to being a practical structure, the bridge was considered a landmark worthy of preservation. It features Native American busts and buffalo heads as well as decorative motifs made of a cast concrete known as Carthalite. The material, believed to be unique to Wichita, is colored with organic materials and uses both sand and crushed glass as aggregates. 

The bridge was restored by building a new bridge inside the shell of the original structure. Construction began in February 2008 and the bridge reopened in August. WSP USA provided construction management for the bridge rehabilitation to minimize the closure time and ensure completion before the start of the new school year. Our firm also designed the restoration of the delicate Native American art from the original bridge. After the project was completed, the city asked us to create a bike path under the bridge alongside the river to connect to an existing trail.