Fiber Reinforced Plastics as an Alternative Material

A 21-mile, ‘cross-country’ mountain biking area nestled deep within Northeast Georgia is known as the Chicopee Woods Mountain Bike Park. The park annually attracts generations of riders with novice to advanced levels of skill.


The park owners recently required the replacement of two pedestrian bridges because the previous ones had prolonged their service lifespan.

With the design assistance of LLG, Areté Structures, and NHM Constructors, a proposal was delivered to the trail owners who suggested the inclusion of two truss-style bridges. The designed spans were 30' and 27’. Each bridge measured 6' in width to allow for two-way bike traffic and pedestrians.

The trail owner encouraged the designers to include opportunities for design freedom.

Despite this, the material selections were restricted because of the remote location of the trails and the space of worksites. Constricted on-site fabrication access and delivery of materials made Strongwell’s fiber-reinforced plastics a difficult material to beat.


With Areté’s comprehensive design knowledge with FRP and Strongwell’s Design Manual, the pieces were prefabricated off-site and transported onsite to make final assembly easier. Any concerns about the presence and influence of heavy machinery on the trail were also quickly alleviated.

The superstructure truss network of the bridges was fabricated and designed with FRP across the barriers. These designs included the use of EXTREN® 6" channels and 2" x 2" x 1/4" tubes.

The work crews had carried each segment of the bridge by hand within four days and hand-bolted the segments onto the current abutments. The end-user and customer have both received much praise from trail visitors regarding the new bridges.

Technical Data

  • Product: Two-Way Mountain Bike Trail Bridges
  • Process: Pultrusion, Fabrication
  • Materials & Sizes: EXTREN® Series 500
  • Structural Shapes: 6" channel
                                        2" x 2" x 1/4" square tube
  • For: Areté Structures, LLC / NHM Constructors
  • User: Chicopee Woods Mountain Bike Park

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell.


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