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stuckinnj
Backyard Bridge

Hi:

new poster and member - I would like to make a simple wooden bridge to span a creek behind my house. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can find plans and specs? I have limited experience, but I am willing to give it a shot?

thanks
stuckinnj

Fencepost
Re: Backyard Bridge

I hate to take the wind out of your sails, but this "simple" bridge may be more complex than you think.

Finding plans and actually building the bridge shouldn't be hard, but the Government can make these kinds of projects administratively prohibitive.

Consider that in many areas of the country, structures such as this require a building permit. In order to receive a building permit, you may be required to submit engineered plans.

Since you are spanning a creek, there may be environmental regulations applied. You might have to get a permit to work in a "riparian habitat" or whatever they call it.

I'm all for just going ahead and doing it and not telling anybody -- I think government is far too overbearing on private property rights and doesn't consider things in practical terms -- but I just wanted warn you of the possible things you can run into. The cost of complying with red tape and paperwork can far exceed the construction cost of the project.

A. Spruce
Re: Backyard Bridge

How wide is the creek?
Is the bridge utilitarian or both useful and decorative?
What kind of traffic (foot, bike, atv, animal, vehicle ... ) ?
Are you in a rural or urban setting?
Is the creek completely on your property or will the bridge be accessing other property?

stuckinnj
Re: Backyard Bridge

-creek is about two feet wide at best, generally trickles but -for rain storms, then can flow pretty good
-foot traffic only
-will use it to walk across - no vehicles
-rural enough - back of my property
-only my property on both sides

town shouldnt know or care, just wanted a little project so the kids could go over the creek and go up the hill to the neighbors house

was even thinking of little suspension bridge (two posts either side, connect bottom of fence to bottom cable - not sure exactly how, but fun in principal)

was checking for ideas online nice that some want me to pay for plans, way to cheap for that, could buy a bridge for 1500, where's the fun in that.

would love to find a schematic or other DIY plan.
stuckinnj

stuckinnj
Re: Backyard Bridge

-creek is about two feet wide at best, generally trickles but -for rain storms, then can flow pretty good
-foot traffic only
-will use it to walk across - no vehicles
-rural enough - back of my property
-only my property on both sides

town shouldnt know or care, just wanted a little project so the kids could go over the creek and go up the hill to the neighbors house

was even thinking of little suspension bridge (two posts either side, connect bottom of bridge to bottom cable - not sure exactly how, but fun in principal)

was checking for ideas online nice that some want me to pay for plans, way to cheap for that, could buy a bridge for 1500, where's the fun in that.

would love to find a schematic or other DIY plan.
stuckinnj

stuckinnj
Re: Backyard Bridge

whoops, sorry for duplicate post

A. Spruce
Re: Backyard Bridge

Next time you're at the yard and garden store, look at what decorative bridges they have. Landscape suppliers and nurseries would also likely have such things. You should also be able to find quite a few things online to your liking. Take those pictures and build yourself a bridge.

This is one that I found at a local nursery. I took this pic for reference, a couple measurements and in an afternoon I had one of my own. The only difference was that I used a larger member for the stringer and added the portion I cut from the bottom to the top to beef up the bridge. I built a total of 3 and they were all 3' wide and 6' long. They're all still in service as landscape decorations and other than a little weathering look just as great as the day they were built.

Attachment: 
bp21901
Re: Backyard Bridge

Spruce...just curious...
When you made yours did you split the stringer at the middle of the span to ease the amount of curve that would be cut in the stringer?

I am planning on something similar for an ambitious landscaping project and was wondering how you managed the curve of the stringer. I plan on cutting it out of a wider board. I am spanning about 8', there will be intermediate support posts at the halfway point. It would be more economical to use the narrower 2x's as stringers through bolted at the halfway post.

A. Spruce
Re: Backyard Bridge
bp21901 wrote:

Spruce...just curious...
When you made yours did you split the stringer at the middle of the span to ease the amount of curve that would be cut in the stringer?

Not sure I follow. I believe I started with a 2x8 and cut a 3" arc out of the bottom edge, this left plenty of meat in the center for strength. Then I took that 3" arc and attached it to the top of the 2x8 and finished off by continuing the arc to the ends of the stringer. I made three stringers. If I'm reading your question right, these bridges are only supported at the ends once the bridges are placed.

bp21901
Re: Backyard Bridge

That answered it....thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Backyard Bridge

You're welcome. :cool:

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