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Backpackable Modular Trail Bridge


Jeffco Open Space owns over 54,000 acres of land throughout the county and maintains over 230 miles of trail. There are numerous bridges in their system, each built to a variety of design standards, and made from a variety of materials. Sometimes these bridges are destroyed by floods, fires, etc. When this happens it often takes months before a replacement can be installed. A lightweight bridge that can be carried in backpacks and quickly/easily assembled onsite could mitigate the issue. This has the potential to benefit, and be used by, more than just Jeffco Open Space. Team Mind the Gap (Team MtG) has developed a 16 ft. prototype that can be expanded to a 40 ft. length in the future. Once assembled, the bridge can be lowered across a gulch to make the other side accessible. Team MtG was the second team to work on this project and the design improved upon previous team’s design by including integrated decking. This design was able to use Kerr Panels as decking and as a member of the load support system. These panels work with a series of interlocking truss members to create a bridge capable of withstanding the 1700 lb. load requirement specified by the client.

Team Members

  • Erik Allder
  • Torin Hopkins-Arnold
  • Isaak Johnson
  • Zachary Drennan

The Client

  • Jeffco Open Space


Project Advisor: Prof. Kristoph Kinzli

Donations Made by: Jeffco Open Space