MakeABridge Gangways Installation at Bota Bota Spa-sur-l’eau

March 08, 2013

MakeABridge® aluminum gangway kit in snow at Bota-Bota spa in Montreal, Canada

The Bota Bota Spa sur l’eau, now permanently docked at the Quays at the Old Port of Montreal, uses five Make-A-Bridge gangways (MABs) to provide pedestrian and light vehicle access to the world’s first floating spa.


March 08, 2013 – Montréal, Québec – The original ferry boat, once a floating theater on the Richelieu River and at the Quay in Saint-Marc-sur-le-Richelieu, is newly transformed by the Émond family into the Bota Bota: a four-deck floating luxury spa that pampers guests using Scandinavian-style water circuit installations for restorative treatments in a sustainable and nurturing environment.

The Bota Bota project chose MakeABridge® to access the Spa sur l’eau due to its award-winning design, use of lightweight aluminum, and its local design and production with close proximity to the project site. “The product is made in Quebec. We believe it is important to encourage our local economy and even more so, the creativity of other young entrepreneurs,” says Bota Bota’s Genvieve Émond. According to Émond, the floating spa’s avant-garde design harmonizes with the relaxing, natural treatments within: “We like the product’s design. Weight control is a major factor in our project, and because MakeABridge is made of aluminum, it was a most interesting option for us.”

The main 45-foot-long by 6-foot-wide MAB acts as the primary access gateway to the spa for clients and staff, and serves as a loading ramp for delivering equipment and supplies to the spa. The patented extruded aluminum MAB for the main gangway is designed to accommodate a one metric ton cart and other small vehicles. The spa’s entry gangway and four smaller MAB access gangways (each 12 feet long by 4 feet wide) meet the Canadian National Building Code Standard for weight capacity requirements, according to MAADI Group president, engineer Alexandre de la Chevrotière.

Spa patrons use the main 45- x 6-foot MakeABridge to access a 60- by 20-foot barge that lies between the port and the bridge, providing direct boat entry from the barge. Bridge stringers are specially designed to allow small vehicles to circulate on the main bridge. Four 12- x 4-foot MABs connect a steel structure on the barge to the spa’s safety exits via flexible rubber connectors commonly used in marinas. Connections on the primary Make-A-Bridge entryway are designed to allow lateral movement on the underside of the main bridge.

MakeABridge gangways are ideally suited to Bota Bota Spa’s modern architecture and sleek appearance. The MAB’s Meccano-style walkway system uses interlocking extruded aluminum alloy members for high structural strength and durability. MakeABridge is designed to be a long-term infrastructure solution that complements the spa’s visual impression. The spa’s five MABs will withstand the rigors of daily traffic and long-term exposure to their marine environment, and offer secure access to the spa that is totally compatible with the rhythms of the waterfront Quay and the breathtaking Montreal skyline.

Aluminum MakeABridge fits in perfectly with Bota Bota’s commitment to a sustainable environment. The Émonds have directed the spa to utilize geothermal energy and low-energy consumption equipment throughout the boat, and to seek out recyclable and biodegradable materials wherever possible. The aluminum MAB gangway structures with their non-slip decks are totally in sync with these environmental objectives. Frédéric Gemme, MAADI Group design engineer on the project says, “The aluminum MAB structure and deck will be maintenance-free for the whole life of the spa. At the end of their life, the gangways will be 100 percent recyclable.”

Practicality of MAB installation using local resources also plays a role in its selection for the spa project. The Old Port of Montreal is not easily accessible for large transport equipment and massive structures. MakeABridge provides a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution, since components are transported in bundles on standard-size trailers and assembled in place without welding, heavy lifting or specialized equipment needed to install the modular structures. This enables reduced transportation and labor costs with complete on-site assembly using local contractors.

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