Chain Bridge Road Pedestrian Bridge
Chain Bridge Road Gets New Pedestrian Bridge
Construction began earlier this year on a new bridge to replace the 87-year old existing structure on Chain Bridge Road at Kenmore Drive, near downtown Fairfax Virginia. According to the City’s project overview, the goals of the project are to replace the aging bridge over Accotink Creek, install new sidewalks and multipurpose trails, and a new pedestrian bridge.
Fairfax is cited as one of the “Top 25 Places to Live Well” by Forbes magazine. One of the reasons Fairfax is deemed so livable is its focus on recreational facilities and pedestrian and bike friendly trails. In keeping with this tradition, the new 52-foot pedestrian bridge, located in the historical district of Fairfax, was designed to match “the architectural style of historic downtown.” Northeast Prestressed Products (NPP) in Cressona, Pennsylvania supplied the prestressed products for the project.
The double tees used for this project are NEXT Beam double tees. The NEXT Beam (New England Extreme Tee) was developed as a more efficient cross section for bridges that are 30-90 feet long. The beam for this bridge features NEXT Beams with curved legs that form an arch in keeping with the historical character of the design. To form the arch, Hamilton Form provided a curved stem filler for use in the NEXT Beam form previously made by Hamilton Form. Additional details included spandrel panels with a stone veneer, concrete railings and precast deck slabs.
Fitting a stem filler into a double tee can be difficult. Normally, Hamilton Form sends the producer a template to check the fit. This is difficult with a curved stem filler because of the geometry of the curve. It just so happened that Hamilton Form had a NEXT Beam form for another customer in the shop at the time the curved stem filler was ordered by NPP. Hamilton Form was able to check the fit using that form. The stem filler was a perfect fit and the project is expected to be completed late this year.
Although it’s a “new bridge”, the design imparts a feeling of history and permanence. Meanwhile, the new bridge; may one day be an historical bridge, as it is expected to be in service into the next century.