Coosa River runs through the City of Gadsden's downtown area making it a unique destination for shopping, dining and relaxation along the 12-acre Coosa Riverfront District. In order to encourage traffic and business development in the area, the City's latest improvement project includes the addition of walking trails and the installation of a pedestrian bridge along the eastern bank of the river, with additional improvements to be announced in the future.
The riverside project began in 2013 when the City secured a lease agreement with Alabama Power allowing them to utilize nine acres adjoining city property. The new bridge, provided by Contech Engineered Solutions, allowed safe passage for pedestrians from the Coosa Landing Marina (City of Gadsden Marina) over a small slough to a new park and boardwalk trail along the river. The Coosa Landing Marina is a popular spot for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Each year, it is host to many local fishing tournaments as well as state and national tournaments. In past years, they have hosted such national tournaments as Crappie USA, Bass Federation, B.A.S.S., and Women's Bass Fishing Association (WBFA). The new park will have new boat docks that will be utilized by Coosa Landing during these big tournaments.
In regards to the pedestrian bridge, James G. (Chuck) Chitwood, P.E., Engineer of Record with CDG Engineers stated: “We chose Contech based on the exceptional quality of their bridges and on our past experience with them. On this project, we wanted a specific look to match the architectural style of the adjacent Broad Street Bridge and Contech delivered exactly what we wanted.”
A Continental® truss structure was selected as the best solution for the pedestrian crossing for its ability to meet the demands. To achieve the look desired by the City, the bridge consisted of three different sections in two different styles. A 120' x 8.33' Keystone®-style section in the center provided the focal point of the structure, while a 30' x 8.33' and a 60' x 8.33' Connector®-style sections are located on either side. All sections had weathering steel finishes and timber decks. The bridge arrived on site and was installed via crane in one day. The 8.33' wide structure allows plenty of room for 2-way foot traffic along the River.
“The City has worked with Contech on several bridge projects over the last few years," added Jeramy Ward, CPMSM, CPESC, Engineering Superintendent with the City of Gadsden. "Contech's staff is a pleasure to work with from upfront ideas, design and installation. We have been pleased with the performance of the structures and the ease and speed of installation. Their technical support and on-site installation support have been a benefit to the project.”
“Contech provided a superior product that will be viewed as a central part of the City of Gadsden Coosa Riverfront District for years to come,” concluded Heath Williamson, P.E., Director of Engineering with the City of Gadsden.