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A Bridge To The Future Of Scouting

How did the Scout get from one side of the camp to the other? By boat? By bus? By trail?

Nope. By the Summit’s one-of-a-kind pedestrian bridge.

There will be very few vehicles at the Summit, and that means there is a need for a simple way to cross the deep ravines on property. That’s where the CONSOL Energy Wing Tip Bridge comes in.

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What’s So Cool About It?

Sure, the CONSOL Energy Wing Tip Bridge will make travel easy at the Summit, but it also has a unique design, one you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

While most traffic will travel along the bridge’s main deck, there will also be two secondary pathways that offer a completely different experience. They will dip below the main structure and skim the tree tops for a drastic change of scenery.

Wing Tip Bridge Concept Drawing
The CONSOL Energy Wing Tip Bridge will not only provide an easier route for foot traffic within the Summit, but it will also be one of the best places to check out the Summit from a different view. (Summit Blog File Image)

“Structurally, it will be an icon at the Summit and something neat for the kids,” said Allison Schapker, director of sustainability for Trinity Works.

To add to the uniqueness of the bridge, timber from black locust trees will be used. The lumber from these trees is very durable and never has to be treated or stained. In other words, this bridge will have no problem enduring the ever-changing climate in West Virginia and will serve as a Scouting icon for years to come.

The New River Gorge area knows a thing or two about great bridges and, according to Schapker, the Summit’s Wing Tip Bridge will be a worthy addition to the tradition.

Getting From A To B

[pullquote]“Structurally, it will be an icon at the Summit and something neat for the kids to see.” — Allison Schapker, director of sustainability for Trinity Works[/pullquote]

The bridge will make the challenging landscape between two of the camping villages and the Summit’s adventure activities literally a stroll. Instead of Scouts walking down into a deep ravine and through a creek, they will simply saunter out of their campsites, over the bridge and into action.

“It will turn what would be a 45-minute walk into a 2-minute walk,” said Schapker.

Sure, the bridge will make getting from one place to another easier, but it will also be a great place for Scouts to explore the area. They will get a sprawling view from the walkway and will be able to check out the zip lines and mountain bike trails with a bird’s-eye view.

The Summit Bridge Is Going Up

Bridge Lumber
The lumber used on the bridge will be durable enough to last in the wilderness of West Virginia without treatment. (Summit Blog Staff Photo)

Schlaich Bergermann and Partner, a world-renowned structural engineering firm, is working with consulting company Hatch Mott McDonald to bring the CONSOL Energy Wing Tip Bridge to the Summit.

The bridge will rise to about 100 feet above the ground and, with construction expected to begin this winter, it will be ready for traffic by the 2013 Jamboree.

In fact, the first loads of timber that will be used for planking on the bridge were cut in late June, so progress is already under way.

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