Four Mile Run Bridge Competition


First Place
Arup / Grimshaw / Scape

Second Place
Olin / Buro Happold / Explorations Architecture / L’Observatoire International

Third Place
Rosales + Partners / Schlaich Bergermann and Partner / Simpson Gumpertz and Heger

View entries...


For years, Northern Virginia's Four Mile Run has functioned as a flood control channel and a border between the City of Alexandria and Arlington County. More recently, growing community interest in revitalizing and celebrating the Run has resulted in the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan. The plan outlines a broad range of ambitious, feasible goals to restore the ecology of the Run while re-establishing it as a cherished park space and a means of stitching together communities.

Category Project Competition / Competition Result
Type International, Project, Restricted, Three-Stage, Onymous
Genre Bridge
Country Virginia, United States
RegDeadline 7 December 2009 GoogleCal iCal
7 December 2009 (Must be Received)
Eligibility Teams of professionals including Architects, Landscape Architects, and Structural Engineers. At least one bridge project with a minimum clear span of 200-400 feet designed and constructed among the team membership, etc.

Bridges are built to connect, traverse, and inspire. The pedestrian and cyclist bridges planned to reach across the run will be the defining elements in bringing people to the shores of the stream and to each other. As pieces of transit infrastructure, the bridges will also link neighborhoods, streets, and pathways, thus providing a more accessible and desirable means to walk or bike across the region. The first of these bridges is to establish the design language for the others to follow, and is the subject of this professional competition. Taking inspiration from its surrounding natural and industrial elements, the bridge is to be a modern, sustainable, and sculptural piece, spanning clear across the run with minimal impact to the streambed.

The competition to design and build this bridge begins with a request for qualifications and culminates in a public presentation given by three finalists. A winning team will be chosen based on the strength of their professional skills and the potential for their conceptual design to become an icon for the Four Mile Run and its surrounding community.

The first level of evaluation comes under the Technical Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (VT-WAAC), Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC).

The second level of evaluation is administered by the Evaluation Committee, which is made up of an Architect, Structural Engineer, Landscape Architect, and one representative each from the Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (VT-WAAC), Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria, and one Joint Task Force (JTF) member each from Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.

For the third level of evaluation, a representative from VT-WAAC invites the top three finalists from the ranked list to present their work and a conceptual design of the bridge in a public forum. A Selection Panel, comprised of three professionally recognized experts, choses a final winning team based on their demonstrated ability to exceed the qualification criteria, inspire and communicate well to the public, and excel in design. The identity of the panelists will be announced in the near future.

Design commission

Entry Fee

Virginia Department of Transportation

Official Website