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Solving wheelchair accessibility issues for trail bridges


The weak link in making trail bridges accessible is the point where the deck joins the approach. To improve accessibility for our trails we have a great variety of bridges with relatively flat, smooth decks. One problem area is the joint between the bridge structure and the trail surface. Typically these are two different materials, such as a wood bridge deck meeting a dirt trail. Or in an urban situation, a hunded-foot long span meets a concrete or asphalt trail. To do this without creating a "vertical obstruction" (in ADA terminology) can be challenging, and may require a patch or filler. Fixing these potential barriers to wheelchairs will also other trail users, because a lip or gap at a bridge can cause pedestrians to trip or bicyclists to lose control. See both problems and solutions in the photo gallery below.

arrow See Bridges, Docks, & Boardwalks Fabricators in the American Trails Business Directory

Click on any photo to see it full size along with more information:

(photos by Stuart Macdonald except as noted)

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