April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45

through it, connectivity across the
bayou provided a unique challenge
to the building team in creating access to and throughout the garden.
As part of the site review, five pedestrian bridges were evaluated for
structural integrity. Improvements
were recommended to extend the
lifespan of the existing bridges. Some
of the issues included deterioration
from deferred maintenance, incomplete existing bridge drawings and
documentation, and bridge scour.
Ultimately, a new entry bridge
was designed and constructed to
cross the Sims Bayou meander and
allow vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access from Park Place Boulevard to the Island.
To accommodate the bridge, areas at both ends were filled to raise
the approach elevation, achieving
the required floodplain clearance

from the city and Harris County
Flood Control District.
" The low-chord elevation is 25.65
feet above sea level and approximately two feet above the 100-year
flood event, " says Muna Mitchell,
managing director, bridge engineering at Walter P Moore. " The City of
Houston provides minimum freeboard requirements, so new bridges do not block stream flow during
flood stages or flood events. "
The raised approaches to the
new bridge resulted in an additional prairie area just beyond the entry garden, featuring native coastal
grasses and plants that can tolerate
occasional inundation.

Positive Reaction
At the onset of this project, the
goal was to give Houstonians another serene setting where they

could enjoy nature and experience
the physical and emotional health
benefits of spending time outdoors.
" The garden is an enhancement
to the city's infrastructure and will
serve as a place for inspiration and
education for all Houstonians and
its visitors, " Mayor Turner says.
Since opening its doors on September 18, 2020, the Houston Botanic Garden has admitted more
than 24,000 ticketed visitors and
continues to welcome first-time
and returning guests every day.
" For being the first botanic garden in Houston, the reaction from
the public has been overwhelmingly
positive, especially during a global
pandemic, " Mayor Turner says.
Ted Vuong, P.E., LEED A.P., ENV SP, is a Principal and
Managing Director of Civil Engineering Services at
Walter P Moore (tvuong@walterpmoore.com).

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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
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