3.0m and 6.0m Panel Bridge Installation Guide

There are specific seasonal windows to consider when installing a stream crossing. We recommend seeking the input of local fisheries, forest and engineering professionals. Be sure to inquire with local authorities before installing a bridge. We have provided a step-by-step panel bridge installation guide below to guide you in the EnviroPanel installation process.

1. Equipment

Heavy Equipment: Our robust EnviroPanel products can be managed by a single 20 tonne excavator. The substructure and deck panels can be lifted and packed or dragged across gravel surfaces to reach the bridge site.

Lifting Rigging: Be sure to utilize properly rated, inspected and maintained lifting rigging. EnviroBridge will supply suitable two- or four-way cables upon request. The net weight of your purchased EnviroPanel will be stamped on the end wall for reference.

Compaction: A vibratory compaction of the backfilled material will be required to complete installation.

Aggregates: In some cases it may be necessary to import a more suitable gravel product to use as backfill, and/or rock (rip-rap) to use as armouring. We suggest inspecting a site prior to installation to determine the availability of these two materials.

Footings: It is usually necessary to install footings at both ends of EnviroPanel modular bridges. There are numerous styles of footings that a project manager could choose from including log sills, cast-in-place, or precast concrete (lock blocks).

Other Materials: Geotextile fabric is recommended for ground stability and silt control. Be prepared to cover an area of approximately 8m x 5m.

2. Preparations

Proper preparations are essential for a successful EnviroPanel installation. First, establish appropriate footings material: Round Log sills are great for temporary installations in remote locations and wooden timbers are easy to work with and modify on site. For a more permanent installation, consider concrete lock-blocks as footings. Detailed guides on how to prepare each of these footings can be found in our full installation guide. We recommend placing a rubber pad between the footing surface and the bridge substructure to act as a shock absorber between the steel bridge and the wood or concrete surface. Backfill and compact behind the footings and proceed with placement of the structure.

3. Placement

When the bridge footings are properly prepared, placement of an EnviroPanel is simple. Using suitable lifting rigging, lift and swing the substructure into place over the footings. There are lifting eyes built into the four corners of the structure. Once the substructure is secured, place the deck panels on the substructure by aligning the guide tabs with the edges of the I-beams.

4. Backfill

Compaction of fill around the footings and bridge substructure is necessary for a stable and long lasting bridge. Use a vibrating plate tamper or jumping jack to achieve required compaction of the backfill.

The next stage of the backfill process is placing a geotextile fabric over the entire bridge span, plus 2m on either side of the deck. This protects the critical backfill and prevents water from running through and creating gaps between the bridge deck and the road edge. Then, add 100-150mm of granular fill to finish the deck surface.

Complete the backfill process by protecting the structure from hydraulic scour; add a layer of angular amour rock (rip-rap) around the perimeter of the footings.

5. Finished Product

To complete the installation, bolt the wooden delineator holders to the plates on the ends of the railings. Then, staple or glue the black and yellow delineator signs to the wooden board. Re-establish the ditch-lines where required and grade the road surface leading up to and over the bridge.

6. Deactivation

If the structure is to be removed and reused, begin by excavating as much material as possible from both sides of the structure. Remove the geotextile if present and lift the structure and footings out of the watercourse. The main objective in removing any structure over a watercourse should be to prevent as much silt and foreign material from entering the streambed as possible.