Intense flooding in September 2009 destroyed an existing truss bridge which had been in place since approximately 1990. The bridge connected two trail systems located on either side of Sweetwater Creek and, in order to restore the connection, the state park required an economical solution with a quick installation, while avoiding prolonged disruption at the park.
David G. Smith & Associates, Inc. (DGS&A), the structural engineer on the project, worked with Contech Engineered Solutions during the specification of the project. In the end, a 10’ x 200’ Gateway® style, Continental® truss bridge with a weathering steel finish and wood decking was selected as the solution for this pedestrian crossing. Lewallen Construction (Lewallen), the contractor, was already familiar with the product and shared positive, past experiences with the team. Lewallen emphasized that the fabrication quality of the product far exceeded that of the competition.
“Contech was a great help during the design stage,” remarked David G. Smith, P.E., President of DGS&A. “We needed some special geometry for this bridge, and they provided us with preliminary designs that enabled us to proceed with plan development.”
As stated, a challenge of the project included the remoteness of the location making access extremely difficult. As a remedy, the bridge was spliced into sections small enough to be delivered via the very rough, gravel path through the woods. The next issue was that the crane size was also limited due to the remote location. In order to accommodate the pick weight for the crane, the wood decking was shipped separately and installed at a later date.
The installation and assembly of the bridge in February 2012 was completed on-site in just two days with the installation of the yellow pinewood decking completed on the third day.
“Contech was a valued partner on this project,” stated Luigi Hernandez, Project Manager with Lewallen. “They met the tight deadline, and provided a great product and excellent customer service. Even in a remote location with limited access, the bridge was installed with very few problems, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was very happy with the results.”
“The prefabricated bridge by Contech was the perfect solution for this project,” commented David Freedman, P.E., LEED AP-BD&C, Principal and Project Manager with Freedman Engineering Group. “Due to the difficult site access, it was necessary to have a bridge that could be installed quickly with minimal disruption to the site. The new bridge is a popular amenity at the site and restores access to the park’s extensive trail system.”
“The project went very smoothly from concept through construction,” added Mr. Smith. “Contech stayed right on schedule through it all.”