Roanoke Rapids Power Station is located on the Roanoke Rapids
Lake near the North Carolina - Virginia border. The Station is
powered by water from the Roanoke River and when water is
allowed to pass from the lake through the powerhouse, the four
generators can produce up to 104 megawatts of power. The
Dam is 3,050 feet long and forms an eight-mile long reservoir.
In addition to energy, the lake provides an area for swimming,
fishing and boating enthusiasts.
When a pedestrian footbridge was needed at the dam to span
the north side of the tailrace canal, the owner turned to Contech
“The area below the dam is a popular fishing and birding spot for local residents but safe access was difficult and basically limited to canoers or kayakers who were willing to paddle several miles upstream” stated Dan Genest, spokesperson for Dominion. “As part of our relicensing process several years ago, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission required us to improve access. Constructing a footbridge across the tailrace was determined to be the best solution”
A 120-ft. long Continental® pedestrian truss bridge was chosen to cross the canal. The structure was built in two sections, which were shipped by truck to the jobsite and then bolted together on-site. Concrete abutments were poured on either side of the canal but one had to be moved after a further floodplain study was conducted. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that one of the concrete abutments needed to be moved. In turn, the new location of the abutment meant that the truss bridge needed to be approximately 14-ft. longer than originally constructed. Contech met the challenge by cutting the truss bridge apart and adding the additional, required length.
Installation of the bridge was delayed by a day due to 30 mph winds. The 500-ton crane can handle winds up to 22 mph and the next day, the crane raised the structure over the nearby trees and set the structure into place. The entire lift took only 15 minutes.