Offshore Utility Bridge Re-Purposed as Nature Park Trail Bridge

October 14, 2016

Custom aluminum footbridge in ocean connecting oil rig facilities

The MAADI Group, Inc., Engineering Design and Build firm is re-purposing one of their custom welded aluminum pedestrian bridges an extreme makeover after its return home from across the globe.

October 14th, 2016 – Boucherville, Québec, Canada – The bridge is returning to Québec from its first installation halfway around the world to serve a radically different purpose. MAADI Group is transforming the bridge structure from its former function connecting two offshore platforms in the Pacific Ocean to its new role as the main trail bridge at the Théatre de la dame de Coeur nature park. The bridge’s new owners, the Corporation de développement de la rivière Noire (CDRN), Roxton Falls, Québec, have commissioned MAADI Group to re-purpose the entire aluminum structure, transforming it from a heavy-duty industrial work bridge to a pedestrian and eco-friendly trail bridge. In its new location, the bridge will be used for hiking, cross-country skiing, and as a route for theater staff and park maintenance crews.

The 15.2-ton high-strength aluminum pedestrian bridge has traveled 26 330 kilometers (16,360 miles) across the world and back to the Port of Montréal, and then on to MAADI Group’s Boucherville manufacturing facilities to be refurbished and adapted to its new surroundings. Structural modifications for the utility bridge include: replacing industrial guardrails with new guardrail fencing as required by the Canadian CSA S6 Bridge Code, which allows the bridge to expand from its previous width of 1.2 meters (4 feet) to an increased clear width of 1.8 meters (6 feet); bridge live load capacity will now be 4.0kPa; new side supports will allow the bridge to be placed on screwed piles; removing of vibration dampers previously required to resist typhoon-force winds; and the addition of wooden planks on each side of the existing grip span floor decking, which require adding welded plank supports. When complete, the refurbished bridge will be transported by four flatbed trailer-trucks to the nature park for permanent installation.

MAADI Group President, Alex de la Chevrotière, P.Eng., said, “We are very pleased to retrofit one of our custom bridge designs for its new rivière Noire location in Québec. The key to successfully re-commissioning this bridge from an offshore utility bridge to a pedestrian trail bridge is that the structure’s truss framework, guardrails, and decking use aluminum components — this gives us great design versatility! Aluminum is a lightweight and natural material that will retain its original structural strength after our modifications are made, and ensure that the bridge will have long-term durability for the nature park. Our aluminum bridge is virtually maintenance-free and completely corrosion resistant. The adapted bridge will serve theater patrons and park-goers very well for decades to come.”

Prior to retrofitting, the original bridge passed stringent load and deflection tests in Granby, Québec, before reaching its offshore destination. Systematic tests used 8.6 Tons of bottled water to gauge uniformly distributed loads on the bridge, to ensure it had the structural stiffness and strength to withstand required weight loads during offshore use. Tests also measured deflection responses and stress effects on key bridge welds and joints, meeting all International Codes and Standards. The modified bridge also meets all local and national bridge codes and standards.

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