Home » Temporary Site Access » Channel and Stream Crossing

When a stream or waterway must be crossed without damaging the streambed or channel, is it important to select a structure that is practical, cost effective and will cause minimal soil erosion and sedimentation. The size and weight of the equipment that needs to cross the stream, as well as the span of the opening are also considerations.

Culverts and fords are often constructed, but can cause damage to the stream bed, must be maintained, and can be difficult and costly to remove. They are also not suitable during periods of high water.

Portable, temporary bridges make excellent stream crossing structures. Since they can be installed without extensive soil backfill, they reduce the impact on the stream bed and the water quality. Portable bridges can also be dismantled easily, causing minimal disruption to the area.

While the initial cost of portable bridges might be greater than other stream crossing structures, the fact that Installation and removal are typically fast and easy and that they are reusable, means they can be a more efficient option in terms of time, labor and overall project cost.

One Size does not fit all: Matrax offers a range of temporary bridge options to meet the unique requirements and budgets of individual projects

Portable Timber Bridges:  Crossings of up to 16 Feet

For short spans of up to 16 feet, timber crane mats can be used. Cost effective and easy to install and remove, crane mats are used to reduce waterway disturbance and provide safe passage for heavy equipment. Mats are placed side by side across the stream bed allowing water to flow underneath the bridge. No foundation material is required, but additional mats may be used for stable abutments. Timber bridges are available in 8” and 12” thicknesses and can be made in different lengths and widths. . To prevent sinking into wet or soft stream banks, the mats should be long enough for a few feet to sit on each bank.

Timber mat bridges can also be used as an air bridge to provide protection of culverts, pipelines and other underground utilities.

Speak to a Matrax sales engineer about your project to determine if this option will meet your requirements.

For Larger Spans, Matrax offers Engineer-rated Temporary Steel Bridges

Prefabricated bridges can be used in a wide range of applications. Engineer-rated, our bridges can accommodate heavy construction equipment safely. They have also been used as temporary solutions in areas where intense rain and flooding have compromised an existing bridge. Finally, they may be installed as an overlay on top of an existing bridge, to improve the load rating.

We can provide bridges engineer-rated to 45-ton, 94-ton, and 125-ton capacity. Our steel bridges can accommodate HL-93 requirements and DOT standards. Matrax offers sales and rentals. Call to speak with a sales engineer about the best approach for your project.

Portable Hinged Bridges: Spans of up to 50’

Portable hinged bridges are designed to minimize freight and installation costs. The bridge is hinged lengthwise and folds in half to accommodate legal transport on a single flatbed truck. Installation can typically be completed in about an hour with standard excavating equipment or crane. Because minimal equipment is needed for installation, hinged bridges are a great option in areas where site access is difficult or limited.

Hinged bridges minimize stream bed disturbance and are available in 30’, 35’, 40’ and 50’ lengths. Other lengths can be custom ordered.

Prefabricated, Modular Bridges: Spans 50’ to 70’

For larger spans of up to 70’, Matrax modular bridges offer a great solution. Available for rent in our standard 60’ length or for purchase in custom sizes, they bolt together on site or easy and fast installation. Custom sizes can be ordered and fabricated in 4 to 8 weeks.

For more information about our timber mat bridges and engineer-rated load capacity steel bridges, contact a Matrax says engineer:  (855) 402-1077

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