Bridge Abutments Support Large Loads at Development Site

Cobblestone texture blends seamlessly with breathtaking Idaho landscape


When a bridge was required to access a home building site located in southern Idaho, the client wanted clean, simple lines that didn't detract from the beautiful surroundings. Daily traffic on the bridge would be largely limited to automobiles and light pickup trucks, but the local governing authority required the bridge to be certified for loads up to 40,000 lbs (18143 kg).

Recycled rail car used as bridge over streamA recycled railroad flat car was used as bridge decking and placed atop Redi-Rock gravity wall blocks to provide access to a residential development.


Leading this project was an environmental consulting firm dedicated to preserving streams and wetlands in the Rocky Mountains and partnering with land developers and home builders to address environmental issues. The firm's focuses include identifying creative, low-impact solutions for crossing wetlands and waterways. The consulting firm's clients loved the idea of restoring and enhancing the native ecosystem. They were further impressed with the firm's proposal to utilize a recycled railroad flat car as the bridge decking since the concept effectively complemented their overall goals.

Paragon Bridge Works specializes in converting railroad flat cars into vehicular and pedestrian bridges. Paragon recommended using two 20-ft (6.1-m) by 8-ft (2.4-m) by 1-ft (0.3-m) railroad flatcar decks placed side-by-side to form a 20-ft (6.1-m) by 16-ft (4.8-m) bridge surface. To create the bridge abutments necessary to support the decking and meet the required 40,000 lbs (18143 kg) load rating, the designer chose Redi-Rock Cobblestone texture walls. The massive size of each one-ton Redi-Rock block harnesses the power of gravity to retain the earth and support the bridge load.

Ultimately, Paragon's client was thrilled with the bridge and impressed that the project was completed on time and on budget. A recycled railroad flat car, coupled with Redi-Rock Cobblestone blocks worked in concert to create an inviting and environmentally sensitive entrance, welcoming homeowners and guests into the development.

Cobblestone gravity blocks support small bridgeRedi-Rock blocks perform especially well in water applications like channels, basins, and shorelines by retaining the earth while disrupting destructive currents and wave action.


Project: Mortenson Bridge #96 Owner: Paragon Bridge Works Block Manufacturer: Mountain West Precast Installer: Paragon Bridge Works Location: Idaho

Gravity Retaining Wall Blocks - Massive, one-ton Redi-Rock gravity blocks rely on the sheer mass of each block to hold back the earth.

Cobblestone Texture Blocks - Redi-Rock Cobblestone blocks feature a great stacked stone aesthetic with the appearance of six smaller blocks.

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