Maximizing creativity, functionality, and economy, a state-of-the-art, “high-tech”, stress ribbon pedestrian bridge was chosen as the preferred design option for this crossing over the Monongahela River in Fairmont, WV. The structural principle of a stress ribbon is the utilization of the very high tensile strengths of contemporary materials in an economic manner. The concrete deck is made from individual pre-stressed planks which rest on pairs of cables strung from and anchored at the abutments on each side of the river.
This extremely stiff yet slender concrete structure bears directly on the existing river piers via steel hinge saddles. These intermediate points of support result in a three-span structure. A playful up-and-down track for pedestrians and cyclists is created by the natural shape the bridge takes under load. The weight of the pavement’s concrete slabs and the shallow rise of the stress-ribbons provide the necessary stability for the bridge. Lighting integrated into the hand-railings is used to highlight the undulating form of the bridge at night. This innovative and environmentally sensitive bridge is quite rare in the U.S., and would be the first structure of its kind to be constructed in the State of West Virginia.
Location: Fairmont, WV
My Role: Project Architect / Lead Designer / Project Manager