At work and play, Garver enjoys life on two wheels
Garver's commitment to bicycle advocacy is fueled by employee passions. Through athletic example and engineering design, Garver is encouraging communities and individuals to stay fit and have fun on two wheels. Moreover, Garver's "cyclelogical" attitude reflects the public's growing trend to settle in communities with bicycle-friendly infrastructure.
"What's happening is a cultural change where people are looking for places with bicycle access," said Pulaski County, Ark. Judge Buddy Villines, who helped establish several bicycle bridges along the Central Arkansas River Trail System, including the Garver-designed Big Dam Bridge and Two Rivers Bridge. "We're seeing 20 to 35-year-olds, the next labor force, deciding where to live before deciding where to work. It's an economic driver, and people are traveling here to experience our bicycle trails and bridges."
The Two Rivers Bridge opened in July and sits above the Little Maumelle River, connecting miles of trails in Pulaski County. The bicycle community lost no time adding the bridge to rides and races, including the Big Dam Bridge 100 Tour in September. The 1,162-foot-long bridge sits 45 feet above the river's normal pool level and is the fourth pedestrian structure along the trail bearing Garver's engineering stamp.
"We have one of the top trails in the South," Villines said. "The response has been overwhelming. People are traveling here to experience our bridges. Over a typical weekend, I'd guess that a couple thousand people use the trail, and more than 100,000 people visit the Big Dam Bridge every year— and I expect the same at the Two Rivers Bridge."
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood helped dedicate the Two Rivers Bridge. After the event, he posted several thoughts on the transportation agency's blog.
"An increasing demand for cycling opportunities is clearly a fact of life in America today," LaHood wrote. "Cycling is one of the few activities that gives us the chance to keep fit and reach a destination, or just enjoy the journey."
Pulaski County Construction Manager John Burton said the Two Rivers and Big Dam bridges have made names for themselves and created excitement in the cycling community.
"All around the South, people have heard about our trail system and bridges," Burton said. "When we first started construction, we decided to add more parking spaces—and we could use even more now. It's being utilized, more than any other facility in the area."
Garver has integrated bicycle features into numerous transportation design projects, from a trail system at The University of Oklahoma to a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian path on the new Interstate 244 multimodal bridge across the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Okla. Both the Two Rivers Bridge and Big Dam Bridge are within a few miles of our corporate office, and we're proud to directly contribute to our community.
"Garver's design was just flawless; the entire process was exceptional," Burton said. "Garver provided a great design, and they answered every email and responded to every phone call in a timely manner during the construction process."
In addition to designing bicycle facilities, Garver's employees have created a pro-bicycling atmosphere within the company. It's one of the reasons that the League of American Bicyclists awarded Garver a Silver designation as a top bicycle-friendly business. In fact, Garver's corporate office in Arkansas is the state's first engineering firm to receive the award.
Garver's headquarters provides loaner bikes, secure bicycle parking, and showers and lockers to encourage employees to fit rides into daily routines. In addition, our employees participate in bicycle commuter challenges, ride together in races and donate children's bikes during the holidays.
So whether our employees are attending bike summits in Washington, D.C., participating in hut-to-hut rides and mountain biking races in Colorado and Utah, tackling 100-mile tours or sitting on a bike for the first time in years, our staff's adventurous spirit and dedication to fitness and health are making a difference—both inside and outside our company.
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