Brooks Camp Floating Bridge, Access Trail, & Boardwalk

  • Location Katmai National Park & Preserve
  • Client RIM Architects
  • Owner National Park Service, Alaska
  • Bridges, Bears, & Boardwalks, Oh my!

    Connecting camps to bear-viewing areas.

  • Weighing the Options

    We considered a variety of materials, bridge options, and construction sequencing to find the best solution for the remote location.

Bearing Safety in Mind. Reid Middleton provided structural engineering services to replace the existing floating bridge at the National Park Service’s Brooks Camp with a new, pile-supported bridge and above-grade boardwalks. The walkway connects the camp across the Brooks River to the bear-viewing area with 900 linear feet of boardwalk and 300 linear feet of bridge. The bridge and boardwalk are supported by steel piles to minimize soil liquefaction risk during extreme earthquakes. We conducted preliminary analysis to determine the correct span and material layout that would minimize the cost and maximize the durability of both the bridge and boardwalk segments. Some were fiberglass, wood, and steel framed segments; using all bridge segments with no boardwalk segments; and construction sequence and timing. Reid Middleton prepared a concept design that considered different construction materials and spans to provide the most cost effective, yet durable and low maintenance solution. A wood-framed bridge and boardwalk provided the best solution at Brooks Camp.


  • Excellence in Construction Award for a Specialty Contractor - Transportation, Marine, Heavy, Earthmoving - Associated General Contractors of Alaska