Decorah's Trout Run Trail Bridge over Highway 9 has received an award.

It received second place in the transportation category of the 2013 American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa Excellence Awards Competition.

A story on the award appeared in the February newsletter of WHKS Engineers, the firm that designed the bridge.

The Trout Run Trail is an 11-mile recreational loop around the city of Decorah.

"The city wanted a signature bridge where the trail crosses state Highway 9. The Trout Run Trail Bridge is one of the first bridges in the state of Iowa to utilize a longitudinally post-tensioned concrete slab structure system. The post-tensioned frame system produces an ultra-thin superstructure with a 125 foot center span that completely spans the highway," the WHKS newsletter article stated.

WHKS Engineers of Dubuque performed the structural design and created plans for the three-span bridge. Erdman Engineering of Decorah did the trail design and was responsible for construction observation and administration services. The project was completed in September.

"Several key aesthetic features were incorporated into the project, including mechanically stabilized earth walls, colored concrete sealer, cable railing and a programmable LED lighting system," the article stated.

The WHKS article quotes Kimball Olson, aesthetics coordinator for the Iowa Department of Transportation office of bridges and structures: "The project is a stellar example of structural aesthetics, integration with the environment, and trail infrastructure enhancement in Iowa."

"The Trout Run Trail Bridge provides a visual reminder of engineering excellence to the residents and visitors of Decorah and Winneshiek County. Decorah City Manager Chad Bird said, 'The Trout Run Trail has become a focal point of the entire community in Decorah. Increasingly more people are using the trail to enjoy the amenities and scenery of the trail and bridge due to the beauty and accessibility of the trail.' "