Steel Bridge for Linear Park Trail’s Equestrian and Pedestrian Traffic

Steel Bridges, Icons of Rail to Trails

In Davie, Florida at the corner of Orange Drive and 106th Avenue an iconic steel bridge serves as a safe passage for equestrian, pedestrian, and cyclist traffic on the Linear Park Trail. The area has a strong equestrian community therefore it was only natural that the color choice for the bow truss steel bridge was Palomino.


steel bridge equestrian

Pioneer Bridge’s steel bridge for pedestrian and equestrian traffic on the Linear Park Trail


The steel bridge connects the north and south sides of the trail system. The Linear Park Trail provides natural recreational opportunities in the metro area of south Florida.


Across the country, the trend is growing to convert old transportation beds into trail systems for a variety of users from equestrians to pedestrians to cyclists. However, since several of railroad systems have been out of service for years, so has the maintenance. Often project managers find that the bridges need to be replaced for safety and aesthetic reasons.


Park systems can benefit from the unique branding opportunity that the right style of bridge offers when it is used as an iconic symbol of their trails. Steel bridges are a way to draw attention to the trail while also solving the problem of safely traversing roadways and ravines.


Steel bridge for Rails to Trails project,

Steel bridge for Rails to Trails project,


Pioneer Bridges steel bridges can be seen throughout the United States including the Katy Trail in Missouri, Greenway Trail in Indianapolis, Indiana, and, of course, the Linear Park Trail in Davie, Florida.


The Linear Park Trail connects over 100 miles of trails of the trail system. Serving a wide audience of equestrians, pedestrians, and cyclists, the Linear Trail Park Trail has great views and multiple places for constituents to take a break in a pavilion or spend time along the canal bank.

steel bridge

Pioneer Bridge steel bridge being installed along Linear Park Trail in Davie, Florida

On both sides of the bridge, the 20-foot wide asphalt trail transitions to a poured in place concrete ramp that tapers to the concrete decking of the bridge.


Even though everything went well, it didn’t all go as planned, “On our end, we had a permitting problem and needed time to resolve it,” said Keith Purcell, project manager with the Town of Davie, Florida. “Pioneer Bridges was understanding and easy to work with. They stored the bridge for us for 6 months while we resolved the issues with the permits.”




Pioneer Bridges Along the Katy Trail


New Steel Bridges from Pioneer Bridges keep the Katy Trail Connected


Five new steel bridges from Pioneer Bridges keep the Katy Trail connected over the ravines and waterways that lead to the Missouri River. This 237-mile long trail weaves through the woodlands, grasslands, and along Missouri’s waterways between Clifton and Machen, Missouri. The Katy Trail is a fast growing favorite with cyclists, walkers, and destination travelers.


The Katy Trail was created when the state took ownership of the old railroad pathway and converted it to what is commonly referred to as rails to trails. The railroad tracks were pulled, a wide trail was installed, and a new travel industry was born. And, happens to be booming as the Katy Trail gains in popularity with adventure travelers.


Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail

Increasing Business for Local Businesses


“People come all over the country to do the Katy trail,” says Chris Locher, project manager with KJ Unnerstall Construction, the company that oversaw the installation of five steel bridges from Pioneer Bridges. “Along the trail are campgrounds, restaurants, and shops.”


The popularity of the trail is growing thanks to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s and Missouri State Park’s dedication in promoting the trail as a travel destination. Kiosks along the trail help visitors discover events, festivals, and places to see in the area.


From local people taking a bike ride on a Saturday afternoon, to avid cyclists making the journey from the Carolinas to Missouri just to ride the trail, the Katy Trail is quickly becoming a sought after travel destination.


Making Rails to Trails


With the rails to trails process came the need to replace the old timber bridges with new steel bridges from Pioneer Bridges. While each steel bridge is 12 feet wide the lengths vary: Marthasville is 95 feet, Rhineland is 80 feet, Wilton is 98 feet, Providence is 75 feet, and Gore is 129 feet in length.


Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail                           Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail                          Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail


“We went with Pioneer Bridges because they were very competitive,” says Locher. “We even called them during the bidding process to make sure that they were okay with the bid. Gil was really good to work with. He flew in for the preconstruction meeting and then came back and was onsite the day of the first installation to answer any of our questions.”


The window was tight for installing the bridges due to the constant stream of events along the Katy Trail such as Race Across America and the high daily use of the trail. With the coordinate help from Pioneer Bridges the installations went quickly. The Providence and Wilton steel bridges were installed in a short window from the third week of August to the first of September. Rhineland, Gore, and Marthasville were then installed in December.

Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail

To keep with the rustic look and feel of the trail the finish on the bridges is weathering steel. The decking on the steel bridge is concrete poured over steel pan decking. The abutment is poured concrete and a gravel path leads up to the edge of the bridge.




Since the decking is poured concrete and you can’t walk on the poured decking without messing it up, KJ Unnerstall Construction needed to devise a way to pour the deck without stepping on it while running a broom across the surface. “We created a dolly system that goes back and forth across the bridge and hovers over the floor,” says Locher. This new dolly system decreased the time it took to complete one long deck to just a single day.


Getting Noticed


“Users notice the steel bridges and have mentioned on Trailnet how nice the bridges look,” says Locher. “We’ve heard nothing but praise about the steel bridges from Pioneer Bridges.”

Pioneer Bridges Steel Bridge on the Katy Trail

“Gil and Skip worked closely with us and designed the bridges to meet the customer’s needs and for us to put it in place,” says Locher. “We are comfortable with Pioneer Bridges to provide bridges made specially to the customer’s needs and we had no problems with Pioneer from start to finish.”


“I’m a licensed engineer and have no problem recommending Pioneer Bridges. They are going to save you money and provide you with a design that works for you,” says Locher.

Steel Bridge on Shingle Creek Regional Trail


Our Crossbow Style bridge is on the Shingle Creek Regional Trail.

This 32-mile long trail runs from Kissimmee to Orange County, Florida.

The steel bridge has a weathering steel finish and concrete deck.


Pedestrian bridge to help travelers between Osceola and Orange counties

steel bridge in Osceola Florida

By Bailey Myers, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2015, 5:40 PM




A new pedestrian bridge has been installed in Kissimmee and it’s designed to attract a different kind of traveler in Osceola County.


Officials are already halfway done finishing the newest part of the highly anticipated 32-mile Shingle Creek Regional Trail, which spans from Kissimmee to Orange County.


“By putting this together as a bike path they are going to get an exposure to Osceola that will give our tourism a boost that is unique,” said Osceola County Commissioner Michael Harford.


For local businesses like Evolve Bicycles, this new trail may create new business opportunities. Right now Roger Robbins, the owner of Evolve Bicycles has to send serious cyclists out of the county to enjoy long trails.


“Having something like a 30 mile trail system that’s very close to us and I think it will be great for local tourists,” Robbins said.


He believes this new trail will not only be a great opportunity for locals, and tourists looking to do something outside, but hopes it brings cyclists from all over the country.


“It’s great for cyclists and other local business because people are going to get tired and want to get a drink,” Robbins said.


Crews are expected to finish this part of the trail this fall. They hope to complete the entire trail over the next few years.


Here is the full story from NEWS13 out of Florida.

Steel Bridges Provide Safer Route


Pioneer Bridges’ Steel Bridge


A Safe Pedestrian Route to School


Our Trailblazer steel bridge is an aesthetically pleasing pedestrian bridge that

allows communities to connect without the need to travel on busy roads.



Our steel bridge in Cabot is nine-feet wide and 150-feet long. The steel bridge provides safe passage for children attending Magness Creek Elementary in Cabot, Arkansas.


Funded by grant money, Pioneer Bridges’ steel bridge allows for children to safely cross over a busy highway.


Being nine feet wide and with a concrete deck, the steel bridge is friendly to pedestrian traffic and can handle emergency vehicles. This new access point is expected to reduce emergency response times to the school and community.


Pioneer Bridges’ steel bridges are used by communities, rails to trails, parks, golf courses, businesses, and highway departments.

Bridge for Monon Greenway in Indiana


The Monon Greenway serves pedestrian and bicycle traffic utilizing an abandoned railroad for recreational purposes.


The Greenway unites the Monon trail between the Indiana cities of Carmel and Westfield and a Pioneer Bridge was used to provide improved safety for users of the trail.


The bridge was needed to provide separation for the Monon pedestrian traffic from the recently reconstructed 146th Street.


The Pioneer steel truss bridge was designed to resemble an older railroad structure that pays homage to the history of the Monon corridor.  The main span over the street incorporates acrylic panels as a safety barrier instead of commonly used wire mesh.


Westfield Mayor Andy Cook said at the grand opening, “The completion of the bridge not only provides a safe crossing across a very busy thoroughfare, but also builds on Westfield’s goal of creating trail connectivity throughout the city and Hamilton County.  The bridge is a great example of local government entities partnering together to provide a valuable resource for residents.”





Different Bridges, Different Paint

While the majority of our steel truss bridges are fabricated from atmospheric corrosion resistant uncoated weathering steel, there are times when a painted finish is desired. For these applications, Pioneer Bridges offers multiple paint systems and a wide range of color options.

 Leesburg-AL (6x40 Expedition)

All Pioneer Bridges are sand blasted prior to receiving any coating.
The sand blasting is done in accordance with Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification (SSPC SPC-6) “Commercial Blast Cleaning”.
The standard paint system used in normal conditions is an epoxy primer followed by an aliphatic urethane gloss enamel topcoat.

 Palm Coast (resized)

In harsher climates, a more elaborate paint system can be utilized.  This system consists of an organic zinc-rich epoxy primer coat which provides the primary corrosion protection for the steel.


The epoxy intermediate coat provides a moisture barrier and adds physical protection to the primer.
The final coat is an aliphatic urethane topcoat that forms an additional moisture barrier with long-term color and gloss retention as well as resistance to “chalking” caused by exposure to sunlight.

 San Leandro - CA (4 - 10x87) - 4

All of our paint systems are applied by experienced painters in our climate controlled painting facility.

San Leandro - CA (4 - 10x87)

Pioneer Bridges has received the Sophisticated Paint Endorsement from the American Institute of Steel Construction quality control program
which ensures that the bridge is painted to the highest standards in the industry.

Weathering Steel

What is Weathering Steel

Weathering steel is a high strength, low alloy steel that was originally developed by United States Steel in the 1930s to resist corrosion and abrasion in their ore wagons. It was given the trade name Cor-ten, and was first used in construction in 1964. Since then the use of weathering steel has spread worldwide and is a popular choice for the use in Pioneer steel truss bridges.

Palm Coast

In suitable environments, weathering steel forms a protective rust “patina” that inhibits further corrosion. The corrosion rate is so low that bridges fabricated from unpainted weathering steel can achieve a 100 year design life with only nominal maintenance.

weathering steel

Benefits of Weathering Steel

• Lower up-front costs:  A weathering steel bridge generally costs about 10% to 15% less than a painted bridge.

• Low maintenance:  Weathering steel is ideal for bridges and other structures where access is difficult or dangerous, and where future disruption needs to be minimized. Inspection and cleaning should be the only maintenance required to ensure the structure continues to perform well.

• Project life cost benefits:  Nominal maintenance needs of weathering steel structures significantly reduce the costs of maintenance operations and the potential indirect costs of traffic delays.

• Construction Speed:  With the elimination of painting in our shop and touch up painting in the field – construction is streamlined.

• Curbside appeal:  The attractive appearance of mature weathering steel often blends in with the environment. Its appearance changes and improves with age.

• Environmental benefits:  Use of weathering steel eliminates the need for VOC laden paints.



Limitations on use

Weathering Steel Bridges are suitable for use in most locations. However, there are certain environments that can lead to durability problems. Weathering steel should not be used in salt-water environments or over brackish water.  Also, de-icing salts should not be used on weathering steel bridges and it not recommended for use in continuous wet/damp conditions.

Guardian Bridge on Rockdale River Trail

The Rockdale River Trail is part of an extensive network of pedestrian trails in the Atlanta area.

When a portion of the trail needed to cross over State Route 212 (Brown’s Mill Road) they called on Pioneer Bridges

to furnish a prefabricated steel truss pedestrian overpass structure.


Guardian style bridge with weathering steel finish, safety mesh, and canopy.

  The Guardian Style bridge includes a safety mesh fencing system and was fabricated from weathering steel to provide a “rustic look”.

This type of finish also provides for a low level of maintenance.

The bridge was also designed with signage to promote the trail and make the structure a “signature” bridge and a easily recognizable landmark for the area.


Rockdale River Trail Bridge is an area landmark.

The overpass bridge is located just west of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit near Conyers, Georgia.

It provides safe passage from the trailhead being constructed near the new visitor’s center.

Many Atlantans have visited the Monastery over the years, touring their gardens and bringing home edibles and bonsai trees purchased from the monks.


Pioneer Bridges’ Guardian Bridge provides safe passage for Rockdale River Trail travelers.

In 2010, the Monastery opened a new $6+million Heritage Center where the public can view the history of this Monastery,

as well as monasticism through the ages, shop in the store, and even grab a bite to eat in the café.

The trailhead at the Monastery should be a popular spot for accessing the trail for years to come.

Rockdale River Trail bio