US 550 Bridge over the Rio Grande
Location: Bernalillo, New Mexico
The US 550 Bridge over the Rio Grande is the first river crossing constructed in New Mexico since the Montaño Bridge in 1997. A critical regional corridor, an estimated 40,000 vehicles cross the US 550 bridge during peak travel hours. The bridge and roadway serve local, regional, and statewide transportation functions. Faced with a compressed design and construction schedule, complex geotechnical findings, strict environmental constraints, and limited river access, the design team worked to develop the best solutions for the new bridge. After in-depth analysis and evaluation, the most viable and cost-effective solution to improve capacity was to construct a new parallel steel bridge next to and north of the existing bridge. The new bridge accommodates three east-west traffic lanes, as well as a bicycle path and pedestrian walkway.