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Author Topic: Why did highway overpasses get so ugly?  (Read 6526 times)


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Re: Why did highway overpasses get so ugly?
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2020, 03:26:11 PM »

It feel like most new highway overpasses on Missouri roads in populous areas have some additional features, such as textured concrete, faux bricks, city/road names, or other enhancements. Here are some examples of this, all of which date from after 2000.

By contrast, the older bridges seem to be plainer. Here is a bridge from the 60s/70s, and here is one from the mid-90s.

Of course, there are plenty of modern bridges that are generic, such as these.
Teenage STL area roadgeek.


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Re: Why did highway overpasses get so ugly?
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2020, 12:10:36 AM »

There are some nicer overpasses on the north end of the NWA metro on 49- Bentonville and the BVP that feature chiseled rocks, but more notably the Arkansas state outline.

I always thought Bruce Watkins in KC had some pretty good overpasses. The same can't be said about the underpasses.


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Re: Why did highway overpasses get so ugly?
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2020, 03:38:46 PM »

Another likely reason why overpasses got ugly, or at least less ornate, is that standards increased. Vertical clearances got higher, medians got wider, outer clearances got wider. The increased costs of building larger structures greatly exceeded the cost of decorative features. It's only been in the last couple of decades that we've adjusted our ideas as to what a highway overpass should cost to allow some aesthetic treatments, and even now they're mostly gewgaws affixed to AASHTO beam bridges.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 05:18:55 PM by Tom958 »


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Re: Why did highway overpasses get so ugly?
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2020, 11:49:29 PM »

Well the I-4 Ultimate factored in bridges with fancy trim. Spires just like on the Conroy Road overpass near Universal are being created from Orlando to Longwood.

This one in Maryland Heights, MO is designed with good aesthetics.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 10:09:34 AM by roadman65 »
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