Aluminum Bridge with Faux-Wood Look Blends into Suburban Park

October 31, 2017 — Boucherville, Quebec, Canada

Who knew that an aluminum bridge could be made to look like it’s wooden? In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, an on-island suburb of Montreal, Canada, MAADI Group installed a pedestrian bridge of prefabricated aluminum with a faux-wood look in William Cosgrove Centennial Park.

The bridge’s 7.2 m-length (23'-8”) includes decking and horizontal guard rails made of ipe, an exotic hardwood from South America. To blend the bridge in with the park’s 48 hectares (118.6 acres) of fields and forest, the top guard rail and its supports, made of aluminum, were finished with a wood grain powder coating.

Designed and manufactured by MAADI Group, the pedestrian bridge was installed in October so that citizens may safely cross a waterway linked to the nearby lake. As a Make-A-Bridge® product, this bridge is weld-free and composed of modular, interlocking parts.

The new bridge replaces an obsolete wooden structure. “Almost every two years, we had to put a bit of money into it,” said Dany Iannantuoni, engineer and Project Manager in Dollard’s Public Works department. “Eventually, it was so worn down we actually closed it.”

After a lot of research and meetings with providers regarding potential materials for a new bridge, Iannantuoni chose a wood grain powder coating process on a non-corrosive aluminum bridge structure. “You pay a bit more at the beginning, but if you consider it in terms of life-cycle analysis, in the end it’s a good long-term investment.”

Complying with CAN/CSA-S6-14 (2014) (Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code), the 1.8 m-wide (70.9”) bridge has a live load capacity of 410 kg/m2 (84 psf) and can support up to 60 people. The pedestrian bridge is made of extruded aluminum 6061-T6 and 6005A-T61 custom profiles and AA357 aluminum castings.

“We have a lot of users [of the park] every day,” said Iannantuoni. “Even the day that we were installing it, when the passers-by were watching the work, they would make comments saying, ‘Finally, we have a bridge again. We love this bridge.’”

“We were pleased that we found such an appealing solution to the city’s need for a ‘natural look’,” said Alexandre de la Chevrotière, CEO of MAADI Group. “The ipe wood will need periodic maintenance to keep its rich red color, but the hardwood has a life expectancy of 50 years minimum, and the aluminum structure 100 years. So the people of Dollard will enjoy a super-solid and natural-looking bridge for decades to come.”