SafeSmart Bridge Design for Stevenson Dam

The Challenge: Maintaining a Vital Piece of Infrastructure

The Stevenson Dam, a concrete gravity dam located on the Housatonic River in Connecticut, serves multiple purposes. It plays a crucial role in flood control, generates hydroelectric power, and provides recreational opportunities. Maintaining this vital infrastructure is essential, and periodic bridge repairs are necessary to ensure its continued functionality.

However, traditional repair methods for the bridge presented a significant challenge. Blocking access to the bridge for extended periods would have disrupted essential maintenance schedules. Additionally, ensuring worker safety while working over water was paramount. Traditional scaffolding solutions would have required extensive setup time, limited access points, and posed potential safety risks for workers due to exposure to the elements and working at heights over water.

The project successfully delivered a safe and functional temporary access bridge for First Light Power employees. The lightweight aluminum construction and bar grating design addressed the weight limitations and snow accumulation concerns. The meticulous planning and collaboration among the project team ensured a smooth and efficient installation, prioritizing crew safety throughout the process.

Read more about SafeSmart’s process to successfully engineer, deliver, and install the 90ft bridge!


Safesmart Access Stevensons Dam Bridge-7295




This is the second product that we had SafeSmart fabricate and they both where excellent products. Looking forward to doing business with SafeSmart again.

Ronald Steeves

Maintenance Supervisor at FirstLight Power

Our Five-Step Approach to Success

This project’s success stemmed from our meticulous five-step approach, ensuring clear communication, innovative design, and a smooth execution process.

Step 1: Deep Scoping – Understanding Needs

Our process began with an in-depth scoping phase. We met with key stakeholders from First Light Power, the dam operators, to understand the specific tasks involved in bridge maintenance. We meticulously evaluated the environmental conditions, including the weight limitations of the existing bridge structure and the potential hazards of working over water during Connecticut’s winter months. Additionally, we explored the project schedule and ensured our solution wouldn’t disrupt essential dam operations.

Step 2: Collaborative Solution Design – Tailored for Efficiency

Equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges, we collaborated with First Light Power to design a temporary access bridge that addressed all identified concerns. We presented a detailed proposal showcasing the bridge’s lightweight aluminum construction, minimizing weight on the existing structure.  The bar grating walkway design was presented, highlighting its ability to prevent snow and ice accumulation, ensuring worker safety during winter maintenance. This collaborative phase also involved discussions on fall protection protocols, designated tie-off points, and overall safety considerations for the crew working on the bridge.

SafeSmart Access Client Review

Step 3: Transparent Proposal – Clear Communication and Confidence

Following the collaborative design phase, we presented a comprehensive proposal specifically tailored for the Stevenson Dam project. The proposal outlined the temporary bridge’s specifications, including the lightweight aluminum construction, bar grating walkway, and its overall dimensions to ensure a perfect fit across the Housatonic River.  This proposal also included a detailed commercial quote and a project schedule outlining the bridge’s fabrication and installation timeline.

We provided detailed drawings, calculations, and simulations with a complete engineering proposal. 

Step 4: Efficient Delivery – Minimizing Downtime

Our goal was to ensure minimal disruption to Stevenson Dam operations. The prefabricated bridge sections were delivered to the site, significantly reducing on-site assembly time.  We provided a team for on-site installation, ensuring the bridge was precisely positioned and securely anchored to the ground on either side of the river. Additionally, upon completion, we provided all necessary quality assurance documentation and safety certifications for the temporary bridge.

Step 5: Unwavering Support – A Long-Term Commitment

We believe in building products that are robust and designed for long-term use. Our commitment extends beyond the initial delivery; we offer comprehensive through-life support to ensure your solution continues to function optimally. Unlike many companies, we eliminate external supply chain dependencies by stocking a standardized range of proprietary material extrusions and spare parts. This self-sufficiency allows us to provide prompt and efficient support whenever needed.

We understand the importance of maintaining a reliable solution over the life cycle of your project. That’s why we offer ongoing support and readily available spare parts, ensuring any potential issues are addressed quickly and efficiently. Our experience supplying solutions worldwide, from harsh Antarctic environments to the scorching Sahara Desert, demonstrates our commitment to building products that withstand diverse conditions and provide lasting value.

Considering a similar project?

Contact us today to discuss how our expertise can help you overcome your access challenges.

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