Suspension Trail Bridge Using Sustainable Materials

This 90' cable trail suspension bridge over Rattlesnake Creek near Missoula, Montana uses sustainable design in many ways. It uses waste sawdust and plastic for the composite deck, and recycled tires for the running surface. It is also unique in its use of small diameter bug killed lodgepole pine for much of the supporting structure. This valuable resource is largely going to waste and has great potential for use in building and small bridge construction. Small diameter roundwood, or smallwood, has recently been used in building design, but this is the first use of this material for bridges. Friends of Missoula Parks, a non-profit group received a US Forest Service grant to encourage its use. The resulting bridge provides a valuable link in the City of Missoula?s trail system. HDR Engineers reviewed the way US Forest Service trail suspension bridges were detailed and constructed in the past, and built on this well established technology using new materials including smallwood, composite decking, and recycled rubber mats. They used 6 inch diameter round members for floorbeams and braces, and 6 inch half rounds for the aesthetic lattice stiffening trusses. This paper provides design guidelines and illustrates how these were used in designing this bridge.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: 10p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046024
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-0056
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 4:37PM