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RE: Railings on Park Bridges - What Code Applies?

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I agree with the requirements you listed.  If I were designing a new bridge or boardwalk I would definitely meet those requirements as well as others (ADA, etc.) and would certainly apply engineering judgement, etc.
But for this case, the issue is whether or not these existing structures have to meet any certain code and where in that code it specifically states that they have to.  To an Owner, there is a world of difference between "these are good design standards to meet" and "this particular code applies".
David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025
-----Original Message-----
From: S. Gordin [mailto:mailbox(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:39 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Railings on Park Bridges - What Code Applies?

The owners generally cannot be relied upon in the choice of the design criteria.  
Handrails usually have to meet AASHTO requirements (50 PLF).
The local codes are usually checked as they may produce a worse case for the railing or its attachment.
"Rigid" safety rails need to meet a 4"-sphere requirement (while loaded).
"Flexible" (cable) safety rails have additional requirements (tension, anchorage, support spacing, overall length, etc.).  AFAIK, these are not mentioned in any code.
Usually these requirements are listed in the specifications for the bridge. In lieu of such specs, the engineer needs to compile those based upon his judgment, degree of care for the public welfare, and his license. 
Steve Gordin SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:46 PM
Subject: Railings on Park Bridges - What Code Applies?

Question for the young, the young at heart, the formerly young, and those
who are just spry:

What code, if any, is applicable to pedestrian and bicycle bridges in parks,
boardwalks, etc.  The structures I am thinking of are the 8' to 10' span
multi-span timber bridges/boardwalks you commonly see in city and county
parks for crossing small ditches, along wetlands, etc.  These are
non-vehicle bridges (disregard service vehicles).

I'm not asking what are good design standards - I'm familiar with the AASHTO
code for pedestrian bridges, etc.  And all of the codes have requirements
for handrail for drop-offs exceeding a certain height.  And there are
certainly ADA provisions.

Rather, I'm asking, in the absence of any special criteria that the park
owner has adopted, what code requirements apply by default?  Would the OSHA
guardrail provisions have to met?

In other words, if someone asked you if a particular park bridge "met code",
what code would you check compliance with?  And on what basis would you say
that that code applies?

David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025