News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 09/10/2014
Subject :

City Announces Design Competition for Iconic New Highway 101 Bridge
Contact : Elizabeth Ames, Senior Project Manager    650-329-2502
Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA— Strengthening its commitment to innovation and forward thinking, the City of Palo Alto announced that it will hold a global bridge design competition for a new landmark bicycle and pedestrian bridge spanning Highway 101 at Adobe Creek.

The City has created the unique six-month competition to solicit visionary design ideas from top architectural and engineering firms for a bridge that represents the identity of Palo Alto and provides connectivity from residential and commercial areas in south Palo Alto to the Baylands Nature Preserve and the regional Bay Trail network of bike trails.

"We want a bridge that balances engineering with art, efficiency and beauty, while recognizing the integration with our Baylands," said Palo Alto Mayor Nancy Shepherd. “We hope the architects and engineers submitting will be inspired by the beauty and innovation in Palo Alto when creating their designs and we look forward to seeing what they come up with.”

The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC), which has managed numerous international, national and local design awards and competitions, has been hired to work alongside City staff managing and facilitating the competition. AIACC's role will include establishing competition guidelines and reviewing design criteria, inviting designers to submit proposals, selecting a jury and technical advisory panel, and assisting with the jury’s shortlisting of three qualified design teams.

The competition will begin in late-September when the City will send out invitations, asking for design concepts for a landmark bridge, to a minimum of 20 international, national and local qualified and reputable architectural/engineering design teams with bridge design and construction experience. The design teams’ qualifications must include the design and construction of at least one bridge in the past 10 years.

A jury, comprised of industry-recognized local and regional architects, will review the submitted designs based on four principles—originality, versatility, conservation and interconnectedness. The jury will choose three design teams to develop a conceptual design for the bridge with a $20,000 stipend from the City’s Capital Improvement Program, and then select a winning design in December that will be sent to City Council for review and possible approval.

In conjunction with the competition, the City is inviting young artists and designers to be a part of the process by creating posters and/or models of a Highway 101 bridge that represents their vision of Palo Alto. Children and teenagers from kindergarten to high school are asked to submit their creations for the Bridge Art Showcase, which will be displayed on the City of Palo Alto’s website leading up to the competition. Youth submissions must be turned in to the City Manager’s Office, City Hall, 7th floor, on or before November 3, 2014. All youth participants will be recognized at a future City Council meeting and will receive a certificate of achievement.

For more information on the City’s bridge design competition and the youth Bridge Art Showcase, visit