With the installation of a new aluminum footbridge, hikers and cyclists in Waterloo, an hour’s drive east of Montreal, can now enjoy a safe scenic outing near Artria Park.
February 28, 2017—Boucherville, Quebec, Canada—Previously, the Stevens culvert, which the new aluminum footbridge replaced, had become decrepit and unsafe. It also impeded the proper flow of water, which promoted ecologically undesirable algae growth.
Designed and fabricated by the MAADI Group, the new 30 m-bridge (98’-5”) offers residents 3 m (9’-10”) of clear width. Weighing 9.55 tonnes (21,000 lb) without decking, the footbridge was installed by general contractor Couillard Construction in two hours in the intense cold of a Quebec winter.
To reduce load on the crane, the additional 6,850 kg (15,000 lb) of decking was installed onsite over several days in -15°C (5°F) temperatures.
CIMA+, the engineering consulting firm hired by the general contractor, recommended using aluminum and the MAADI Group. “You have to look at the associated costs (of aluminum use),” said Christian Lacroix, Project Manager in Building Information Modelling. “The transportation is easier, the handling is much lighter, the foundations for an aluminum footbridge are also lighter because of the lighter weight. There’s also the long-term maintenance. We prefer aluminum because you don’t have to worry about it for a hundred years (chuckling).”
He added that “since I started working with Alexandre, MAADI CEO, I’ve always suggested we at least look at aluminum when I work with clients on projects. We analyze it each time, which was not something we always did by default earlier on.”
Lighting is a special feature of the footbridge. Programmable LEDs illuminate the structure with 32,000 colors, which reflect very nicely off the 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.
The footbridge can handle a pedestrian load of 4.2 kPa (90 psf), the equivalent of 521 people. A maintenance vehicle of 80 kN (18,000 lb) could safely operate on it.
Since this MAADI aluminum structure is almost fully maintenance-free, such a vehicle will rarely be found on the footbridge. Aluminum’s excellent long-term corrosion-resistance ensures that the municipality will save considerable time and money on upkeep. As a result, residents will enjoy uninterrupted access to the walkway for many decades to come.
“This project was a great win-win for Waterloo residents, the city, and our firm,” said MAADI CEO, Alex de la Chevrotière. “I’m proud of how we were able to contribute to the quality of life in Waterloo. That bridge sure is a sight to behold when it’s lit up at night.”