From Tailgate to Stadium and New Signage: New Bridge at Iowa State University


Spanning a quarter mile across University Boulevard in Ames, Iowa this new open-air bridge connects the pre-game parking lots with Jack Trice Stadium in a whole new way. Reducing pedestrian traffic for vehicles eliminates a risky game of real-life Frogger for pedestrians in traffic. The end result gets everyone to the game quicker and safer while providing a great opportunity for branding through signage.

Early Collaboration Creates Great Architectural Signage

Collaboration on this project started over a year before installation. Working with Substance Architecture and Henkel Construction, our team consulted and provided budgets early in the pre-construction phase based on initial architectural concept drawings and sizes.

“With as large and high profile as this project was, it was important to make sure the right people were in the right seats for everything to move smoothly,” commented Mike McKeag, CEO at Latitude Signage.

Once awarded the project, our designers, fabricators, licensed electricians, and installers got to work on every detail. Our Senior Project Manager, Jason Flathers, spent years as a licensed electrician and has extensive installation experience so he was the perfect fit to lead this project. “This total team effort included understanding every aspect of the bridge construction, getting input from our experts on electrical and fabrication, consulting with the GC and sub-contractors on design and product details, then creating a detailed production design that could go straight to manufacturing. The end goal all along was effectively built and illuminated signage that is efficiently installed in the field,” said Flathers.

“I” is for Iowa State University Channel Letters & Logos

The 50-inch tall channel letters that read “Iowa State University” are face-lit and installed to 9-foot perforated panels that create the “walls” of the bridge. Every part of the signage was designed with longevity, effective lighting and materials, and a smooth installation in mind. From where the electrical conduit leads come out of each letter to the precise welded placement of mounting knife plates, matched to the letters, on the perforated paneling. These letters are installed using knife plates; the locations were meticulously templated from the letters. The perforated paneling is notched and the knife plates are welded on prior to installers arriving on site with the letters. We worked with Architectural Wall Systems to coordinate the notched locations in their perforated panels so that Johnston Machine Works could then precisely weld the knife plates. Every weld matters.

The four “I-State” logos bookend this pedestrian bridge on both sides creating four times the school spirit! The face-lit logos stretch nine feet tall and are installed on precast concrete.

4 Days & 4 Lanes: Coordinated Signage Installation Was Key

The installation worked in concert with lane closures coordinated by campus officials. The inside two lanes were closed to accommodate installing the middle set of letters, then the outside two lanes were closed to install the first and last part of the lettering. So for just a couple of days, it said “State Univ” until the outer lanes were closed for the final push of installation.

Big Results for Big 12 Signage

Once the bridge was “lit,” it got immense praise from friends and fans. See for yourself.

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