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Connecting a Region: Foothills Trail White River Bridge

 Connecting a Region: Foothills Trail White River Bridge
Author(s): (President and Principal Engineer, V+M Structural Design, Seattle, WA, USA)
(Bridge Engineer, V+M Structural Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
(Project Manager, Huitt-Zollars, Seattle, WA, USA)
(Bridge Consultant, Integrity Structural Engineering, Seattle, WA, USA)
Medium: conference paper
Language(s): English
Conference: Footbridge 2022: Creating Experience, Madrid, Spain, 07-09 September 2022
Published in:
DOI: 10.24904/footbridge2022.065

The White River Bridge will become a key link extending the regional Foothills Trail, which when complete will run more than 48-km through communities and scenic landscapes in the shadow of Mount Rainier. The three-span arch footbridge will become a destination where users can linger over the beautiful White River. It will also provide a much-needed secondary route for emergency vehicles.

The total bridge length of 174m is divided over three network arch spans. Network arches create a very transparent structure that is very stiff. The crisscrossing hanger pattern of the structure can carry heavy point loads from a fire truck without distressing members. Generous lookouts at the central pier will provide an area for users to linger and take in views of the river.

Key elements of the design included selection of the preferred geometry of the arch spans, optimization of the hanger pattern, fabrication and construction considerations, and seismic design approach using base isolation of the superstructure atop the supporting piers. The erection sequence of the large spans has been an up-front consideration with every effort to minimize disturbance to the wooded site. User experience and aesthetics are a focus of design, but with equal emphasis on economy and efficiency. This footbridge showcases how all these aspirations can be achieved with the right design approach.

aesthetics network arch rehabilitation weathering steel user experience trail bridge river crossing environmentally sensitive existing piers

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