TORONTO – Acrow international bridge engineering and supply company recently designed and supplied a modular steel bridge that will improve a popular snowmobile route spanning the Odell River, part of the New Brunswick recreational trail network near the Village of Plaster Rock.
In the spring of 2019, an ice jam in the Tobique River caused the adjoining and smaller Odell River to back up and large sections of ice pushed the existing bridge off its foundations. Since the bridge was on a snowmobile trail and critical for crossing the Odell, New Brunswick’s Department of Energy and Resources, decided it would be more expeditious to completely remove the old structure, rebuild the foundations and install a new bridge, states a release.
A modular steel structure was chosen for the project. Design engineers Hilcon Limited devised foundations that allow the bridge to be lifted in the event of backups, thereby preventing it from being pushed out of position.
A key design feature of the new bridge are specially modified transoms “allowing for up and down but not lateral movement, enabling the bridge to slide up the sides of the extended curtain walls in high water, and slide back down when the water level has dropped,” adds a release.
The project began in October 2020 and was completed within a few weeks. The new bridge replacement is 21.3 metres long and 3.7 metres wide to accommodate two lanes of snowmobiles or one groomer.
“Acrow’s modular components allowed for easy transport of the structure to the remote jobsite,” said Benoit Forget, P. Eng, business development manager Quebec/New Brunswick, in a statement. “The bridge was quickly assembled and launched with the timber deck, saving both time and money over other bridge types.”