In 2001, an amendment was proposed for the Colorado River Recreation Management Plan to analyze the construction of a new pedestrian bridge to span the Colorado River and extend the bike path along the first three miles of State Highway 128. After many years of conceptualization, the bicycle and pedestrian bridge opened in May 2008.
The Continental® pedestrian truss bridge crosses the Colorado River at one of its widest and deepest points. Installation of the Capstone structure occurred in winter of 2007 when the river was at its lowest levels. Sections of the bridge were cantilevered and set with a crane to minimize environmental impact.
“In addition, we had to build a temporary bridge out into the river before construction of the new bridge could begin,” states Brandon Squire, P.E., Project Manager of Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction, the contractor on this project. “We were limited as to how far out we could construct this temporary bridge so we had to utilize 100 ton Hilman Rollers to launch the last truss section towards the other side of the river until the 550 ton crane on the other side could pick up half the weight of the truss.”
A weathering steel finish was selected to blend in with the natural beauty of the canyon landscape. It was designed to weather the elements and grow in beauty as it becomes part of its surroundings. Additionally, Keystone® modular block retaining walls were utilized to line access ramps to the bridge. The aesthetic rust color of the blocks was chosen to match the red rocks of the trail.
The Colorado Riverway Bridge is a key element of the North Moab Recreation Area’s alternative transportation system. The community envisions the ability to travel from Moab City to all of the surrounding state parks within the next five years. The trails are safe, alternative transportation methods that promote health and fitness and reduce the use of fuel.