An unorthodox curvature of architectural mesh–supplied by Cambridge Architectural of Cambridge, MD–gives the new Iron Horse Trail Pedestrian Bridge in Contra Costa County, CA an unconventional design while providing safety for people on the bridge and those in cars passing underneath.
The Iron Horse Regional Trail has become an important pedestrian byway for San Franciscans, especially as it connects the Dublin/Pleasanton and Pleasant Hill BART stations – fundamental commuter transit stations. The footbridge crosses over eight lanes of Treat Blvd. in East San Francisco, allowing walkers and cyclists to safely cross over the heavily trafficked road.
Arup was the lead designer/engineer and prime consultant for the project–known officially as the Robert I. Schroder Overcrossing–and specified the Plait pattern architectural mesh system that uses a modified U-Binding attachment.“The stainless steel construction makes the mesh durable as well as very attractive,” says Ignacio Barandiaran, Arup Principal and Project Manager. “The pattern specified for the project was specifically selected to have very small openings to discourage people from being able to throw sizable objects down to the traffic below, and to also discourage people from trying to climb the fence since the short distance from wire to wire makes it hard to get a grip either with one’s fingers or toes/feet.”
The angled semi-circle handrails also give the bridge an original aesthetic, perfect for the modern and unconventional style of the city of San Francisco. “The mesh makes a pedestrian bridge that crosses over arterial roads/highways that is at best a distraction, and at worst a menacing-looking and ugly element, into a beautiful and inviting element of the overall design,” Barandiaran says.
The Robert I. Schroder Overcrossing has already received a 2012 IDEAS2 award for innovation in structural steel design from the American Institute of Steel Construction. The design team also included Donald MacDonald Architects, Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants, SPS Engineers, David Evans and Phil Singer, Construction Manager TRC-Hanna Group, and General Contractor Robert A. Bothman Construction.