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Excellence in Highway Design

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Category 6 - Structures Costing Less Than $10 Million

Honorable Mention

State Route 126, Fenton Lake Bridge
La Cueva and Cuba, New Mexico

Photo of the completed bridge from the far side of Fenton Lake.  The bridge is nearly hidden from view at the base of the pine-covered mountains across the valley.Photo of the low-profile bridge while it is under construction.Photo of the wetlands crossed by the new bridge.

The NM State Highway 126 (NM 126) and the Rio Cebolla Bridge are located at Fenton Lake State Park, a popular camping and fishing place northwest of Albuquerque. This project exemplifies the successful application of context sensitive design in a recreational and pristine environmental setting. A low profile, multi-span bridge was designed to improve safety, span critical wetland habitat, provide big-game passage, and blend visually with the surrounding environment. The bridge was constructed with a precast, prestressed concrete pile foundation since it would require no additional corrosion protection that could potentially flake and contaminate the wetlands. Techniques for constructing temporary crane pads in the wetlands were developed and are now recognized as a best management practice.

Designers: Parsons Brinckerhoff, Denver, CO and FHWA Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Lakewood, CO
Contractor: Twin Mountain Construction II Company, Albuquerque, NM
Owner: New Mexico DOT, Albuquerque, NM

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Michael Matzke
Office of Program Administration
E-mail Michael

Updated: 04/08/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration