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Big Dam Bridge

Voted one of North America's "Top 10 Must-See Bridges"

Garver helped Central Arkansas move toward completing the River Trail, a 14-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that runs through Little Rock and North Little Rock along the banks of the Arkansas River by serving as the engineer for the Big Dam Bridge, a 4,122-foot pedestrian bridge over the Murray Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River.

Billed as the world's longest pedestrian bridge specifically constructed for recreational purposes, the Big Dam Bridge contains more than 3 million pounds of steel and features a 14-foot-wide deck, two observation towers, and 650 feet of mechanically stabilized earth walled embankment. Multiple piers attached to the lock and dam lift the bridge as high as 90 feet above the water. Spans vary from 70-foot rolled beams to 168-foot curved plate girders.

The structure is a concrete deck on weathering steel girders supported by the dam's monoliths. The structure is capable of carrying two future 36-inch diameter water lines. The bridge is designed for a 30-mph bicycle speed, which can easily be achieved with its 1,500-foot grades at a 5-percent slope.

In the evening, LED lighting features a colorful light display that can create more than 16 million colors to illuminate the structure.

Under previous contracts with various agencies, Garver completed a preliminary design report, which included a stability analysis to verify that the bridge could be supported by the existing dam monoliths. The final design was completed in August 2004, and construction was completed in September 2006.

Garver provided a topographic survey for the pedestrian bridge on the south side of the Arkansas River.

According to Pulaski County estimates, about 100,000 people crossed the Big Dam Bridge in 2011. In 2012 the Society of American Travel Writers named it one of the top 10 bridges to visit in the United States.

 
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