The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Southeast Chapter recently honored the Toxaway River Pedestrian Bridge project with a Community Improvement Award. The recognition was announced during the 2021 DBIA Southeast Chapter Project/Team Awards Banquet and Owner Panel in Greenville, South Carolina. Our project team from Charlotte was present to accept the award on behalf of KCI.
This remote suspension bridge is a hiking destination along the Foothills Trail in western North Carolina. After decades of service, deterioration was noted in the main timber towers. KCI initially provided an alternative study detailing possible approaches to repairing the bridge. Once the project was released as a design-build contract, our team was selected to completely replace all timber components of the crossing including the suspension towers while keeping the existing steel cables and concrete footings intact. Temporary scaffolding was used to temporarily support the suspension cables and allow hikers to cross without interruption while structural members were replaced. KCI engineers successfully implemented an innovative solution using lightweight fiberglass pipe for replacement of the towers since there were no cranes available for lifting materials due to the limited site access. KCI monitored how movement of the bridge suspension cables affected the new structure and provided recommendations for extending the life of the steel cables, securing the trail’s accessibility for years to come.