Steel Trail Bridges on Shared-use Urban Pathways

A variety of steel-frame commercial bridges along typical multiple-use trails.

by Stuart Macdonald, Trail Consultant, American Trails

Most of these bridges are standard designs from several manufacturers, but with some individualization in abutments and approaches. These bridges are built off site and installed on shared-use pathways used by bicyclists and pedestrians. Some have very long spans, and others have a very pronounced arched profile. The material is typically a “weathering steel” which forms a tough coat of rusty brown corrosion and never needs painting.

About the Author

Stuart Macdonald spent 19 years as Colorado's State Trails Coordinator. He is the editor of American Trails Magazine. During 1998-99, he represented State Trail Administrators on the national committee that proposed regulations for accessible trails. He chaired the National Recreational Trails Committee, which advised the Federal Highway Administration in the first years of the Recreational Trails Program. Stuart grew up in San Diego and his main outdoor interest besides trails is surfing. He has a BA in English from San Francisco State and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Utah State.

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