Lyon Court Connector

Areté was contracted to design and manufacture the Lyon Court Connector, an FRP pedestrian/bicycle bridge that is part of the Greenway Trail Projects in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The Lyon Court Connector was built to connect adjacent neighborhoods that were isolated by geographical constraints in an urban area. 

Design Choices

In an urban environment it is very important that the design choices complement and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the surrounding urban landscapes. One of the main design choices that Areté made to ensure that the FRP bridge matched the urban surroundings was to use a slate gray FRP material that matched the environment better than our standard olive-green material. Another benefit of the slate gray material is that it is made from a 525 series FRP which is beneficial in wildfire areas since it has an additional flame rating.

Other design choices that were significant to this project were the truss style, decking material, and bridge width. The 2- span continuous pony truss was chosen as the design style for aesthetics as well as strength. The client wanted a larger 8’ wide deck to allow for higher traffic flows. The decking was chosen to be Safplank FRP interlocking decking to provide a solid surface as well as increase the sustainability by reducing maintenance and upkeep costs. 

Engineering Significance

To our knowledge, the Lyon Court Connector is the first continuous multi-span FRP pedestrian bridge in the United States. This Truss was made continuous to help increase the natural Frequency of the bridge which results in the bridge feeling less “bouncy” for pedestrians. This was a real benefit as the longest span measured over 71ft with an 8ft width. The length of the complete bridge is 120 feet.