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RE: 5 Ton Golf Course Bridges

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It sounds like the problem really is in what Spec applies. 

AASHTO Guide Specs for Ped Bridges stipulates that it is to be used as an amendment to the Std. Spec book altho it is intended for ped and ped/bicycle bridges that are part of highway facilities.  For 12’ wide, with the expectation of maintenance vehicles, I think he’s got to provide a bridge that will withstand the 5 ton vehicle—we just did this using a Chevy Silverado (loaded up)-- wheel base and loads.  For our truss, the ped load ended up controlling the truss design.  The wheel load may well control the stringer or plank design.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Smith [mailto:smith1129(--nospam--at)]
Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:35 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: 5 Ton Golf Course Bridges


I have an interesting problem.  I am looking at the design of several timber golf course bridges.  Specifications say "12'-0" wide, 3-inch plank deck, and 5-Ton capacity.


The contractor bid based upon his normal business of constructing golf cart bridges for golf courses.  He "sort of" follows the pictures and layout shown on page 8 of "Southern Pine Pedestrian Bridges & Walkways".


Designing the timber bridges by AASHTO leads to much larger members than he thought he was going to have to use.  The problem seems to be the use of the term "5-Ton Capacity".  A wheel load for a 5 ton truck will cause much larger stresses in the stringers than a uniform load that will add up to 5 tons.


I would appreciate any comments on what others have done in this situation.


Dave Smith


David G. Smith & Associates, Inc.

Gainesville, GA