When designing trails within parks or green spaces, rivers and creeks become an issue. How do you cross them? A small babbling brook might be able to be jumped across or crossed by hopping between a few rocks to continue along the natural footpath. This style of water crossing is not that accessible, nor are these natural forest footpaths. Trying to walk across this type of water crossing can be hard for a person with limited mobility, an issue of our increasingly aging population. The next option is much more expensive, a bridge must be installed to cross a little creek to a larger river.
The main materials for a bridge are wood, metal, and concrete. Each of these materials has its own design consideration; cost, longevity, maintenance, accessibility, access to the build site, just to name a few.
In 2012-2013, I was tasked with reviewing bridge repairs suggested from the structural engineer’s bridge reports. I noticed that some of the oldest bridges (around 100 years old), required less work than some of the bridges 90 years younger. Were these 10 to 15-year-old bridges designed to fail? I’m not sure but I offer these few tips to help ensure the longevity of your assets.
The first thing to know about rust on bridges is a bridge is like a very big, low voltage battery or electrical circuit. My landscape architect’s very basic understanding, as taught from an electrical engineer tasked with protecting gas lines:
One of the more common bridge types I was reviewing was made from weathering steel (Core-ten). These young weathering steel bridges (10 to 15 years old) had few structural failures and required replacement. The following Design and Maintenance tips are based on my observations and research on weathering steel (a product that was originally designed for train boxcars for use in hot and dry South-Western USA)
If the above recommendations cannot be maintained, it might be a better idea to use another material, such as wood or concrete if you don’t want to replace your bridge very 10 to 15 years at over $10,000 for a small 6-meter long bridge. In future blogs, we will look at other materials and design considerations.
If you need help designing your trails, locating your water crossings and types, creating tenders for bridge replacement or help to create maintenance procedures, please give us a call or email, we would be happy to help.
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I’m one of those weird ones that like winter. Snowshoeing deep into the forest. Cross-country skiing under the clear blue winter sky. I even like the great workout I get, when there are a few inches of the white stuff freshly fallen from the sky.
I was taught in school that within most of Ontario, parking lots can lose up to 20% of their parking lot space to snow piles. That is about one space out of five, lost to snow! Luckily, most of our snow falls after New Year’s Day. But, early, before the Holiday Seasons, snow falls can eat up lots of parking space for those crazy last minute shoppers (like myself).
If you are designing a new site or adding a new building or expansion to an existing site, one of the best times to review your parking lot layout is during the site plan development phase. Before you submit the plans for review, examine where the snow will be pushed, piled, and stored? Here are a few discussion points to start the conversation with your design team and snow removal contractor:
As a landscape architect, with experience with snow removal, I can work with your site design consultant team to improve your parking lot and landscape design to ensure less space is lost to snow.
Hope these discussion points help to improve your site during winter. Feel free to send us any questions you may have about your site, especially if it is still in the design phase. We would love to hear your comments about our blog and any Site and Landscape Design topics you would like to hear more about.
Beyond The POST
Hope these suggestions help to keep your landscape looking its best after the winter. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips regarding all aspects of the landscape from site plan approval process for new developments, trail design tips through to maintenance tips like this post.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and look forward to your comments, questions and the unusual tips you have found useful.
Beyond The Post
Now that the fall colours have started to set upon Southern Ontario, we will soon start seeing the white stuff falling from the sky. For some this can be a welcome sight. For others it means heavy jackets, salt covered boots, and long hours removing snow.
Before the snow flies, it is a great time to have a site walk with your snow removal contractor to help ensure your landscape looks great after winter. During your walk, discuss the finer points of snow removal. It helps to be able to see the ground, where the planting beds are, and how the land slopes. Understanding the site, how the melting snow will go, can help to reduce the damage to your landscape.
Planting beds receiving large amounts of snow usually do not fair as well as sod (grass) areas, or better yet, concrete or asphalt parking areas. Define which planting beds the contractor should avoid or if there is no room, truck the snow offsite.
Feel free to give us a call, and we can walk your site with your contractor and you to create a plan for the snowy season.
I hope these suggestions help to keep your landscape looking its best after the winter. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips regarding all aspects of the landscape from site plan approval process for new developments, trail design tips through to maintenance tips like this post.
I appreciate your time in reading this post and look forward to your comments, questions and the tips you have found useful.
Beyond The Post