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Raising the Red Bridge

Project Overview


City of Des Moines

Project Type:

Asset Management


Des Moines, Iowa

About the Project

Raising Des Moines’ Icon Red Pedestrian Bridge

When Stanley Consultants rehabilitated an abandoned 500-foot-long Union Railway bridge in downtown Des Moines, it was transformed into a red pedestrian bridge that quickly became a city icon. A decade later, the city found itself at a critical crossroads when an updated flow frequency analysis on the Des Moines River reported that the risk of flooding was now nearly double previous estimates, and that the Red Bridge’s height would exacerbate flooding. Stanley Consultants prepared options for elevating or demolishing the bridge. The bridge’s history and popularity led the city to spare it from demolition. To raise the million-pound bridge, both end spans were removed, and the remaining spans were raised in 12-inch increments using 30 hydraulic jacks. Stanley Consultants designed the bridge elevation, pier caps and approaches for this award-winning project.


Asset Management

Asset management is built into everything Stanley Consultants does when planning, modeling, designing and evaluating public and private infrastructure projects.

Engineering & Design

Engineering and design services at Stanley Consultants combine our robust technical skills with forward-thinking innovation to deliver the highest-quality results.

Strategic Planning & Consulting

At Stanley Consultants, we understand that planning and consulting include every aspect of engineering. We use the best tools available to create designs and master plans built for longevity, resiliency, and sustainability.

By The Numbers


Bridge Elevated by 4.5 Feet