Students: Samantha Caldwell, Shelley J. Giraldo, Jared Kinney, Brian Weigand

Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Osama A. Abaza

Client Organization: Municipality of Anchorage, Parks and Recreation


The Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department contracted with Seawolf Engineering to develop a pedestrian bridge inspection program, create a GIS geodatabase to house collected pedestrian bridge inspection data, conduct inspections of pedestrian bridges along the Chester Creek Trail and perform a full structural analysis of one pedestrian bridge. A student team at the University of Alaska Anchorage completed this project as part of their Civil Engineering senior capstone course.

The objectives of the Pedestrian Bridge Inspection Project (MOA Project B) were to:

  • Create an inspection template that can be used by Anchorage Parks and Recreation employees to conduct routine inspections of pedestrian bridges and culverts throughout Anchorage;
  • Conduct inspections of fifteen (15) pedestrian bridges crossing Chester Creek using the inspection template;
  • Create a geodatabase to store the information collected during pedestrian bridge inspections;
  • Conduct a structural analysis of one bridge to determine whether it up to code and whether it requires bollards or signage to prevent vehicle crossings;
  • Increase safety by creating a methodology to ensure that structural deficiencies are discovered and repaired in a timely manner.

Challenges associated with this project were:

  • Inspections occurred during the winter, so bridge members, especially decks and expansion joints, were not fully visible due to snow and ice cover;
  • As-builts and design documents for inspected bridges were not readily available from the Municipality of Anchorage;
  • Load ratings do not exist for all inspected bridges.

The inspection template provides Anchorage Parks and Recreation employees with an easy-to-use method of evaluating pedestrian bridges in Anchorage. The geodatabase will serve as both an archive and an up-to-date registry of Anchorage’s pedestrian bridges and their conditions.The formulated inspection template and geodatabase are valuable tools that can be utilized to assist Parks and Recreation in making thoughtful decisions that prioritize safety on Anchorage’s trails, determine where capital improvements should be directed, and identify which pedestrian bridges merit rehabilitation.



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