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Library-Aluminum Bridge

Bridge Installation is Made Faster and Easier Thanks to Aluminum Extrusions

The Equestrian Park of Blainville, in Blainville, Québec, Canada, sports a new arched pony truss-style footbridge that provides both riders and their horses with safe passage across the park's expansive terrain. The extruded aluminum bridge, designed by MAADI Group Inc. in Montreal, Québec, features high strength and safety, and requires minimal maintenance and installation time.

The Blainville Equestrian Park footbridge is an
arched pony-truss design.
© Courtesy of MAADI Group, Inc.
The horse park's new bridge was installed last fall to help riders traverse a large pond and connect the horse park's main riding trails. The 100-percent pre-fabricated aluminum bridge, with a self-weight of 15,180 pounds (6,900 kg) was assembled at the manufacturing site in just three weeks by four workers.

Accommodating two horses and their riders traveling side-by-side at one time, the equine footbridge features a strong framework made from corrosion-resistant 6061-T6 hollow aluminum extrusions that are fusion welded to form the truss structure's primary members. The 59-foot-long (18-meter) bridge has a clear width of 9 feet, 10 inches (3 meters), and features a slightly cambered deck across the length of the bridge, bowing up 14-1/8 inches (359mm) at its center.

After transporting the pre-assembled structure on a flatbed truck to the installation site, workers used a crane to carefully position the bridge in place across a large pond. Eight anchors were embedded into concrete abutments to set transition plates that close gaps between the abutments and the bridge, forming expansion joints that allow for slight movement to occur with changing temperatures.

For added safety, the aluminum truss structure and side guardrails are integrated with a special wood decking material. The floor system consists of 2-inch x 8-inch (50mm x 200mm) nominal hardwood known as Ironwood™,a tropical lumber that is naturally resistant to moisture and microorganism decay, helping to prevent the horses' hooves from slipping as they cross the bridge.

The Blainville Equestrian Park's pre-assembled
aluminum footbridge was installed on site in just
four hours.
© Courtesy of MAADI Group, Inc.
Alexandre de la Chevrotière, P.E., president and CEO of MAADI Group notes, "Extruded aluminum alloy 6061 is well-suited to an outdoor bridge design that is exposed to the elements and heavy use. Extruded aluminum's ability to integrate perfectly with the Ironwood decking system allowed us to design a bridge with customized options that are ideal for both the horses and their riders. The Blainville Equestrian Park's new aluminum bridge is a highly cost-effective and sustainable alternative to steel. In addition to the easy transport and installation of the pre-assembled bridge, the aluminum structure is fully recyclable and reusable, and creates a pleasing aesthetic design that blends beautifully with the equestrian park's natural surroundings. This aluminum bridge will enable safe and reliable passage for years to come, with virtually no maintenance needed."

Watch a video explaining how this bridge was designed, transported and installed.

Deloitte, Inc's "Cost, Lifespan Considerations for Engineers: Aluminum is the Durable, Maintenance-Free Material Choice for Structural Building Projects" analyzes steel and aluminum pedestrian bridges from a Total Cost of Ownership perspective. The study's conclusion: "Decision makers should no longer assume that steel is always the best option economically when investing in civil engineering structures…an aluminum structure may prove to be the best option in terms of installation, maintenance, operation and disposition costs." Read the study results at

Learn more about MAADI Group at