Downtown Gateway Feature

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    Nate L. Clair

    Good afternoon, all.  I’m in the early planning stages of a gateway feature spanning 3 lanes of traffic similar to the picture below.  Has anyone been involved in the design/construction of a similar feature and could share construction costs?  Just trying to get an idea of Order of Magnitude right now.

    Thanks for any info you can share!


    Leslie B Wagle

    I would suspect the cost might be compared to one of the commercial monster “billboards” that have evolved (x a factor of 2?) since it has tower elements plus a heavy supported horizontal metal element, if you can track that down. Or a giant amusement park gateway or 1/2 a bridge of some kind? That’s a wild ballpark approach if you can’t track down the records of the example shown (there might be archived news articles from when it was budgeted if you don’t know the design team).

    Useless reaction here: I’d be surprised if you could propose anything like that over a public street without major highway dept. input, and I hope the municipality has lots of insurance. Also (I’m sure you will) get an engineer involved.


    200k? +/- 20%?

    Chris Whitted

    Your example is obviously at least five lanes, but I can easily see it hitting half to three-quarters of a million for a three lane version. The biggest wildcard I think would be the amount of custom metalwork.

    Back in 2007 or so I worked on what was essentially a higher-end ranch gate – masonry (stone) column bases with wing walls, and timbers for the posts and span, which covered one lane plus a full shoulder. The researched estimate put it at just under $200k. I couldn’t tell you what the final constructed cost was.

    Mark Di Lucido

    Highway department (state DOTs) requirements probably won’t add much cost but if it is in a DOT R.O.W., then an encroachment permit will be required and this could affect your schedule so run this down early in your process. Even if it’s municipal R.O.W. something like this will require significant design review time so keep that in mind also. On the construction cost side of things, hidden costs usually not part of an OoM estimate such as R.O.W. acquisitions (if needed) and utilities under the piers would significantly affect cost so look at these possibilities early in the process too. Also know that a structural engineer is definitely needed and will add to your design cost. 

    I’d start by Googling similar city funded projects. LA’s China town has a similar one as do Oklahoma City and San Diego. Bid information for city projects is considered public record and so is available to anyone.  If you can find one you’ll get a pretty accurate OoM. 

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