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Pine Street over Boardman River

City of Traverse City, Michigan

Pedestrian River Crossing


Team Elmer's


December 2015 and April 2016

Technical Description:

• 105' x 12' Continental® Pedestrian Bridge; Weathering Steel with IPE Hardwood Deck
• CDS® Hydrodynamic Separator

In Traverse City, Michigan, a pedestrian crossing was needed to provide better pedestrian connectivity between the Warehouse District and the rest of the downtown area, while also maximizing the usefulness of nearby parking structures. Additionally, it would complete the electrical overhead to underground conversion for this area by carrying Traverse City Light & Power's electrical lines over the Boardman River. By allowing passage of both pedestrians and electrical lines, the new bridge will provide two solutions in one and provide a significant cost savings to the City over the traditional solution of running the lines under the river. 

After searching for bridge options, a 105' x 12' Connector®-style, Continental® Pedestrian Truss with wood decking was selected as the best solution. The reddish color of the weathering steel was a nice complement to the existing brick in the surrounding area. A Continental structure was selected over its competitors for its cost effectiveness, aesthetics and ability to carry safely the electrical lines over the river. 

Prior to the bridge installation, a challenge occurred when the soil around the abutments was contaminated and had to be taken away and replaced with clean soil. After the concrete abutments were ready, the bridge arrived in two pieces and bolted together on site. Two cranes, one on either side of the river, were used to lower the bridge into place. Installation occurred in just one day.

In order to further enhance the aesthetics of the structure, the City selected a local metal shop to create custom panels located on the inside of the bridge's rails. The look of the panels was designed to coordinate with the theme of the Warehouse District, which is known for its growing artist culture. Contech Engineered Solutions and the City worked together to create an easy in-field assembly option, allowing the panels to be added to the structure after installation. 

Also installed on the site was a CDS® Stormwater Treatment system. The hydrodynamic separator uses swirl concentration and continuous deflective separation to screen, separate and trap trash, debris, sediment, and hydrocarbons from stormwater runoff. The CDS system captures and retains 100% of floatables and neutrally buoyant debris 2.4mm or larger, effectively removes sediment, and is the only non-blocking screening technology available in a stormwater treatment device.

"Contech and Team Elmer's have worked for many years on different projects throughout Northern Michigan," stated Al MacDonald, Project Manager with Team Elmer's, the project's contractor. "Their representatives always take a customer-first approach wanting the contractor, engineer and owner to be satisfied with the final product." 

After the bridge was installed, the following amenities were added to complete the project: pedestrian plazas on either side of the bridge, safety panels, lighting, and landscaping. Almost 20 years in the making, the project was a success and the cost savings of the bridge associated with it being able able to carry both pedestrians and electrical lines was significant. In early 2017, the project was granted an Award of Excellence for Construction by the Builder's Exchange of Northwest Michigan.

Sheila Peek, Director of Membership with Traverse City Chamber of Commerce added, "I think businesses will see an awful lot of foot traffic and a lot of growth."

Technical Description:

• 105' x 12' Continental® Pedestrian Bridge; Weathering Steel with IPE Hardwood Deck
• CDS® Hydrodynamic Separator

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