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‘Leaping’ bridge realizes architect’s vision

April 9, 2013

vw-bridge-photo(web)A tapered Big R Pedestrian Truss Bridge in Louisville, KY is part of the Parklands of Floyds Fork, a 4000-acre park along the historic waterway where Confederate and Union forces skirmished in the Civil War. Parklands’ architects conceived a series of bridges with a common design concept—an expression of movement or ‘leaping’ over the celebrated Fork, making the crossing an ‘event’.

Out-of-the-ordinary design

The bridge’s bottom chord follows the curve of the deck, but the top chord is exaggerated with 11', on the ‘leap’ side and 4' on the ‘landing’ side. Each vertical truss member is angled differently to heighten the sense of movement. The abutments are also unique—a large one clad in limestone blocks and a small one in concrete.

Manufactured in our new Virginia plant

The 155' bridge was fabricated in our Abingdon, VA plant and delivered in three sections which were assembled and installed in one day by two 300-ton cranes, as detailed by this well-illustrated article on The Parklands of Floyd’s Fork website.


We also accommodated the locally designed and fabricated stainless steel railings by designing specialized connections. 

Collaboration with the architect was key

Throughout the project, our close working relationship with the project architect, Nick Passafiume, AIA, of Bravura, was instrumental in helping to successfully realize his vision for the bridge. He commented: 

“It was a great asset for us to have Big R involved in the construction phase of this project. Being an architect (and not an engineer), my primary concern was to preserve the design intent we established. Big R made this quite effortless as they were there through the submittal process, providing feedback and suggestions to help preserve the initial vision while at the same time meeting the pragmatic requirements of the span. I look forward to working with Big R on future park bridges.”


We specialize in building unique designs

Our engineering teams have translated many unique designs into reality over the years. Most notably, we partnered on a very challenging bridge for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN. The finished product is a testament to Volkswagen's signature style.


Related article: Signature bridge is a testament to Volkswagen’s style »



Project Name: Louisville Loop Pedestrian Bridge ‘F-104’ 
Location: Louisville, KY (Floyd’s Fork Crossing)
Owner: 21st Century Parks
Architect/Designer: Bravura 
Engineer of Record: QK4 (Engineer of Record)  
Contractor: Louisville Paving
Installation Subcontractor: Javier Steel  
Type of Product/Application: Modified Weathering Steel Truss, Stream Crossing
Dimensions: 14' wide, 155' long, variable depth
Installation time: 1 day (start to finish)