The 1,300-acre New Orleans City Park, first established in New Orleans in 1854, is one of the nation’s oldest urban parks. Each year, millions of visitors hike the trails, or attend events, concerts and even gentlemanly duels in the past. Couturie Forest, along with Scout Island, forms a 60-acre site filled with trails, native trees, scenic waterways and wildlife.
Recent park improvements included fencing, bike parking, a bike repair station, a gravel parking lot and a bridge next to the Volunteer Center creating a new entrance to Couturie Forest. Future improvements will include a water fountain and an informational kiosk. The forest is maintained almost 100% by volunteers who mulch the trails, remove invasive trees and plant new trees. In fact, after City Park was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, 6,500 new trees were planted and are now thriving.
A 106' x 8' Capstone®-style, Continental® truss bridge from Contech Engineered Solutions was selected as the best solution to provide visitors with a new pedestrian entrance over water and into the forest. The bridge arrived in two 50' sections and was bolted together on-site. The structure was then lowered over the lagoon and into place via crane.
"Contech was very helpful with coordinating, supporting and advising the various contractors to make sure that the foundations were installed correctly for a smooth installation process," stated Emily Bullock, Project Manager with Spackman, Mossop & Michaels.
Funding for the new bridge and entrance was provided by the Louisiana Recreational Trails Program, New Orleans City Park and Friends of City Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in April 2015.