The Shape Above Water
With all this talk about Fort Worth’s three new bridges and roadside sightings of ginormous wing-like frames, we thought it was time to do a show and tell to explain just what in the heck a V-pier is anyway. The signature bridges get their name from the V-shape of the support pier that will be visible above the water. But there’s more beneath the surface . . .
Why a V-shape?
It was an alliance of art and architecture. World-renowned architect, Miguel Rosales designed the signature V-pier structure with Freese and Nichols Inc. of Fort Worth. Aesthetically, the design mirrors structures in our city’s cultural district like The Modern Art Museum. Practically, the V-pier design provides better bridge support with fewer piers. Fewer piers mean less concrete and obstructed views from the river.
What supports the V-pier?
A drill shaft is bored 30 feet underground, then a steel-reinforced concrete pier column is constructed above ground with a rounded crown at the top of the column. This dome-shaped design is visually more appealing than the column alone, as this part will be above the water line. The dome will also serve as a connection point and seat to the actual V-pier. Ultimately, the V-Piers will support the superstructure of the bridge which will connect traffic from one side of the bypass channel to the other.