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University of Iowa Quad Ravine - South Walk


With few natural areas left at the University of Iowa, the Quad Ravine is a beloved place on campus. Due to age, the infrastructure was starting to deteriorate and portions of the pathways had to be closed for safety reasons. The pathways did not meet accessibility requirements and their narrow width made snow removal difficult.


After Shive-Hattery created a master plan for the Quad Ravine project, the design and construction work began in phases. The first phase involved removing crumbling limestone and replacing pathways, walls and stairways connecting the Medical Research Center and Bowen Science Building to the pedestrian bridge crossing Riverside Drive. It also addressed storm water management issues through the use of biocells which slow the flow of water and allow infiltration.


The second phase of the project continued the look and feel of the initial project. Its main focus was to replace the south walk that connects the Pharmacy Building into the Ravine with an accessible pathway that is wide enough for snow removal equipment. The design included a series of stepped retaining walls that support the south hillside. The terrace between the walls provided a location to collect storm water and to showcase unique plantings selected and installed by the University of Iowa.
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