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Posted by Scott Reeve on Sep 29, 2016

skywayPipe-PedBridgeNewHeader.pngArtist rendering of the Columbia River Skywalk in Trail, BC.

"Resultsclearly indicate the structure cannot be used in any way, shape or form due to severe deterioration

The leaders and citizens of Trail, BC, Canada weren’t thrilled to read those words, back in 2010. The findings were part of a report from the firm Buckland & Taylor, who also estimated it would cost at least $10 million to enable the vehicle bridge to last another 10 years. Based on this and other considerations, the Old Trail Bridge was closed with no immediate plans to reopen.

Trail needed to reroute the regional sewer interceptor line but replacing the vehicular bridge was deemed too costly. The city, instead, proposed a pedestrian walkway. Official bridge documentation states the pedestrian span would "increase walkability & cycling routes; enhance the overall look to our City; attract visitors with a beautiful signature structure; be one of the longest suspension bridges in North America at 295 metres and feature LED lighting." In October 24, 2015, the voters of Trail approved the funding of this new, innovative solution.

Obviously, Trail needed a budget-friendly, low maintenance, high strength pedestrian bridge deck. They set off to explore their options, and chose Composite Advantage's FiberSPAN.

skywalk_deck_panels.jpgClose up: FiberSPAN panels slated for the Columbia River Skywalk.

As the city's  bridge FAQ reports, "The pedestrian bridge deck will be made of a composite...material made from FiberSPAN™ decking, designed specifically for pedestrian bridges. The width of the bridge will be 12' wide and will accommodate pedestrians & cyclists. The bridge will also accommodate a City-owned 4-Track (Quad) Emergency Vehicle (with trailer) if necessary." 

Composite Advantage shipped our FRP decking in neat, numbered stacks for easy installation. The material is lightweight enough to meet the design specifications of this unique suspension bridge, but strong enough to last. The panels will require little to no maintenance and are slated to last 75 years or more. 

We're proud to be part of this project for many reasons, one being this: As bridge installation progresses, you can watch it live. That's right - you can watch a timelapse video of the construction, or the live web cam pointed at the bridge. What a great way for the citizens of Trail to keep an eye on their investment.

Speaking of which, we're also keeping an eye on the installation. Stay tuned for our next blog on the outcome of the project and photos. 

skywalk_deck_panels_stacked.jpgFiberSPAN panels slated for the Columbia River Skywalk.

skywalk_panel_showing_drainage_curbs_and_rail.jpgFiberSPAN bridge panel with drainage, curbs and rail attachment.

FiberSPAN bridge panels stacked at Skywalk bridge site. They're pre-numbered for easy installation.

skywalk_before_decking.jpgThe Columbia River Skywalk before decking installation.


FRP vs Concrete

Topics: pedestrian bridges, FRP bridge deck

Scott Reeve

AboutScott Reeve

Scott does Business Development for Creative Composites Group. For over 35 years, he has developed new applications using FRP composites; especially in the infrastructure sector. In 2005, he founded Composite Advantage, which is now part of CCG.

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