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East Shore Trail Bridge

East Shore Trail Bridge

Special Purpose

The three-mile stretch between Incline Village and Sand Harbor State Park on the east shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada is, in a word, stunning. And a series of new steel-framed bridges is now an integral part of this scenic multiuse path.

The owner, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), used the construction-manager-at-risk (CMAR) delivery method for this $40 million trail project. The team faced an accelerated delivery schedule, challenging subsurface conditions and terrain, high seismicity, limited construction access, and an environmentally sensitive project location.

The three miles of new multiuse path was installed on a steep side slope between the existing State Route 28 and Lake Tahoe. The path comprises five steel bridges, totaling 809 ft. To create a structural system that could be installed with minimal disruption to traffic on the heavily used SR-28 adjacent to the trail alignment, the team designed prefabricated bridge spans composed of weathering steel girders that supported lightweight fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) deck units. Composite Advantage manufactured the 50-ft-long pre-fabricated deck units with steel supplied by fabricator Cox Brothers Machining. The deck units were shipped to the site and placed by contractor Granite Construction during short-term road closures.

The various regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the area were focused on aesthetics.The project is highly visible from the lake, and it was very important to minimize visual impacts on the terrain. The steel girders and hand railings use weathering steel to minimize long-term maintenance costs associated with painted steel and to provide a surface finish that blends in with the natural terrain. The steel pipe sections used for the columns at the piers were galvanized and then coated with Natina to provide a finish that matches the weathering steel stringers.

Project Team

  • Fabricators:

    • Stinger Bridge & Iron, Coolidge, Ariz. (for substructure elements) *AISC MEMBER* *AISC CERTIFIED*

    • Cox Brothers Machining, Inc., Jackson, Mich. (steel stringers and diaphragms) *AISC MEMBER* *AISC CERTIFIED*

  • Erector and general contractor: Granite Construction Inc., Sparks, Nev.

  • Engineer: Jacobs, Sacramento, Calif.

  • Owner: Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City, Nev.


Year Awarded:


Year Completed:



Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Award Class:

Special Purpose

Award Type:

Merit Award


Structure Type:

Plate Girder

Coating System:

Weathering Steel

Span Length (ft):


Structure Length (ft):


Average Deck Width (ft):


Steel Weight/Deck Area (lb/ft²):


Amount of Steel (tons):


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