For this build we teamed up with Tree Frog Woodworking to build a “break-away” bridge, walkway, and railing for the Wayne Lee residence in Boulder, Colorado. Wayne and his wife were unfortunate enough to experience a tremendous flood when the creek in their back yard swelled and overflowed its banks. It swept away both their deck and the small bridge that connected their back patio to their garage and car port. Most of the problem stemmed from the fact that multiple fences and bridges spanned the creek, and in flood conditions these structures gathered debris and forced water into peoples homes. Wayne, a retired architect, saw an opportunity to rebuild and improve on the previous design. He hired a team (which included us) to make the improvements that he envisioned. This bridge is designed to rise up and swing out of the way in a flood. It rests on solid concrete footers, and is connected by an aircraft cable to one of these footers. We collaborated with the architect on the project and developed some ideas for the build that would incorporate elements that played to our respective strengths. Enyart Forge fabricated, finished, and installed the steel structure as well as the stainless steel cable railing, while Tree Frog milled, finished, and installed the exotic Ipe wood decking and handrail. This combination of materials and techniques produced a clean, modern feeling structure that will last for years to come, and will resist any force of nature.
Photographs of this build are courtesy of Wayne Lee.
How it’s Made
The first step of this project was to establish a sturdy base from which to build from. The kick plates that support the structure are plasma cut from 3/4″ plate and welded to 3/4″ thick base plates. All welds on this project were performed by a certified welder, and meet AWS D 1.1 code for structural steel. After the kick plates were mounted, we began installing the framework that supports the decking. While the guys from Tree Frog began installing their decking, we worked on getting the newel posts for the cable railing installed. After the Ipe cap rail was installed, we tensioned the 1/8″ stainless steel cables and the project was complete!