Acrow Designs Modular Steel Bridge for Canadian Crossing Point

The newly installed bridge in New Brunswick, Canada.

International bridge engineering and supply company Acrow (Parsippany, New Jersey, USA) recently designed and supplied a modular steel bridge for a vital crossing point of the Province of New Brunswick’s recreational trail network in Canada.

Located at the northern end of the Appalachian Mountain Range, the region is a year-round destination for outdoor activities. With more than 8,000 km of groomed trails across the province, snowmobiling is a vital part of the region’s economy.

In the spring of 2019, an ice jam in the Tobique River caused the adjoining and smaller Odell River to back up. As a result, large sections of ice pushed the existing bridge off of its foundations. As the bridge was on a snowmobile trail and critical for crossing the Odell, New Brunswick’s Department of Energy and Resources decided it would make sense to completely remove the old structure, rebuild the foundations, and install a new bridge.

A modular steel Acrow structure was selected for the project, and design engineers Hilcon Ltd. devised innovative foundations, which allow the bridge to be lifted in the event of future backups. In turn, this would prevent it from being pushed out of position.

A key design feature of the new bridge is specially modified transoms, which allow for up and down but not lateral movement. In turn, this enables the bridge to slide up the sides of the extended curtain walls in high water, and slide back down when the water level has dropped.

The new bridge replacement is 21.3-m long and 3.7-m wide to accommodate two lanes of snowmobiles, or one groomer. Manufactured from high-strength, high-quality steel and galvanized to eliminate corrosion, Acrow says its bridges are virtually maintenance-free over a service life of at least 75 to 100 years.

“Acrow’s modular components allowed for easy transport of the structure to the remote jobsite,” says Benoit Forget P. Eng, business development manager for Quebec/New Brunswick. “The bridge was quickly assembled and launched with the timber deck, saving both time and money over other bridge types.”

The project began in October 2020 and was completed in only a few weeks, rapidly restoring the crossing for the snowmobilers just in time for the year’s first snowfall.

“With installations across the province since 1972, Acrow bridges have proven themselves as effective, permanent infrastructure solutions,” says Gordon Scott, director of operations and sales for Acrow Canada. “Assembled in days or weeks, our cost-effective, durable solutions are built to withstand even the harshest elements.”

Source: Acrow,