Mark Ketchum, Civil and Structural Engineer
Berkeley Pedestrian and Bicycle Overcrossing 2002: University Ave and West Frontage Road
In his three-and-a-half decade practice of civil engineering, technological research, seismic analysis of buildings, and the design of long-span bridges in the western United States, South America, and Asia, Mark Ketchum initially worked with renowned firms T.Y. Lin International and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates. In 1992 he co-founded the San Francisco firm OPAC Consulting Engineers. Dr. Ketchum designed projects on three continents and was known for his use of state-of-the-art seismic and wind analysis to evaluate long-span bridges. The Hoover Dam Bypass concrete arch bridge in Nevada (2010), the Carquinez Strait suspension bridge (2004), and the Lake Redding post-tensioned concrete bridge over the Sacramento River (1996) are examples of his work using diverse technologies and aesthetics.
Dr. Ketchum’s 2002 design for Berkeley’s graceful pedestrian bridge over the busy I-80 freeway offers a safe, accessible, elevated pathway for pedestrians, wheelchairs, and bicyclists. It is elegantly formed by two large curved inclined steel pipes in a basket-handle shape. Situated to align with the Golden Gate to the west and Grizzly Peak in the Berkeley Hills to the east, the bridge forms a link between Berkeley’s original shoreline and the waterfront recreational areas and Marina later developed on bay fill.
Contributed by David Snippen, 2016
Mark Ketchum before Cartinez Strait suspension bridge (2013), photo courtesy OPAC Consulting Engineers
Berkeley I-80 Pedestrian Overcrossing (2002), photo courtesy OPAC Consulting Engineers
Hoover Dam Bypass (2010), photo courtesy OPAC Consulting Engineers
Nanning Bridge, Nanning City, China (2009), photo courtesy OPAC Consulting Engineers