Wood was probably the first material used by humans to construct a bridge. Of the bridges in the United States with spans longer than 20 feet, approximately 12 percent of them (or 71,200 bridges) are made of timber. In the USDA Forest Service, approximately 7,500 timber bridges are in use, and more are built each year. The railroads have more than 1,500 miles of timber bridges and trestles in service. More than 1,000 Timber vehicular Bridges 90 years old or older are still in service throughout the U.S.
Today, Bridge Builders' ™ modern technology and advanced construction techniques are making timber bridges stronger, more durable, maintenance-free and environmentally friendly than ever before.
Timber's strength, light weight, and energy-absorbing properties make it highly desirable for bridge construction. Timber can meet the same structural requirements as any other building material, such as conformance with AASHTO HS20-44 or HL-93 standards and greater when required. This designation means that Bridge Builders' ™ timber vehicular bridges are suitable for continuous traffic of 3-4 axle vehicles.
Wood is inherently very durable when properly protected. Bridge Builders' ™ highly advanced treatments extend the life of the timbers protecting wood against rotting, shrinking, twisting, insect attack and everyday exposure to the elements. Using modern application techniques and preservative chemicals, wood can now be effectively protected from deterioration for periods of 50 years or longer.
Properly treated timber will not crumble like concrete, will not rust like steel and can be used in any environment regardless of climate.. Wood is not damaged by continuous freezing and thawing and resists harmful effects of de-icing agents, which cause deterioration in other bridge materials.
Wood treated with preservatives requires little maintenance and no painting. Unlike steel, it will not rust.
Contrary to popular belief, large wood members provide good fire resistance qualities that meet or exceed those of other materials in severe fire exposures.
From an economic standpoint, wood is competitive with other materials on a first-cost basis and shows advantages when life cycle costs are compared. The prices of steel and concrete have increased but the price of timber has remained relatively stabile.
Design constraints of using steel or concrete will slow down the installation process, whereas timber is a readily available resource and installation will not delay your project. Timber bridge construction can occur in virtually any weather conditions, without detriment to the material.
Our team of experienced professionals responsible for design, engineering, management, and the highest quality of workmanship by our crews, ensures the successful on-time, cost-effective completion of your project.
Bridge Builders ™ offers various types of guard rails, roof designs, lumber types (including composites) and span types, as well as numerous other options that will add to the beauty, usefulness and versatility of your design.
Technological advances in laminating over the past four decades have further increased the suitability and performance of wood for modern vehicular bridges. Glulam, an engineered timber product, provides greater strength than sawn lumber for longer span applications. Glulam is manufactured by laminating individual pieces of sawn lumber together with waterproof structural adhesives. Glulam is available in a wide range of lengths, widths, and depths.
Our timber pilings can be driven into almost any environment, and are often approved for permits when steel pilings are not. Bridge Builders ™ pioneered the concept of top – down timber bridge construction, which allows us to build with minimal impact to the land.
Bridge Builders’ ™ timber bridges fit beautifully in their natural settings and are installed in a manner that helps preserve some of our nation’s prime environmentally sensitive areas and wetlands.
I first worked with Bridge Builders in 1990 at the Cypress Golf Club Project in Los Alamitos, California. Their performance was exemplary and good memories seem to last in this business.
Sixteen years later, I found myself in need of bridges once again. What a relief to be able to call the same phone number and talk to Tim Kris. I thought that our design-build project here at Brightwater Club would be a perfect match for their product. The process was truly seamless after our initial conversation. Design work, budgeting and scheduling all went well. The crew was right on time and the three bridges were built from start to finish in less than two weeks. Jim Collins and his crew were incredible.