Panoramic View of Catwalk Structure

Project awards received

Owner: Federal Highway Administration – Central Federal Lands Division/U.S. Forest Service
Engineer: Bohannan Huston, Inc.
Location of Project: Gila National Forest, near Glenwood, NM
Final Contract Amount: $4,617,780
Completion Date: May 2016

Project Scope (included Design and Construction):

  • 700 feet of suspended catwalk
  • Three steel pedestrian bridges
  • Restoration of the primitive and accessible trails leading to the structures
  • Removal and disposal of creek obstructions and existing flood-damaged structures
  • Slope protection for erosion control and prevention of falling rocks
  • Total rehabilitation and expansion of the parking lot that provides access to the trail
  • Preservation of the existing historical and archeological elements

Project Challenges:

  • Remote location in an environmentally sensitive area
  • Only nine months to complete design and construction
  • Irregular canyon walls required custom fabrication for every piece of steel and a different bearing for every support

Timeline:

  • 1933: Original Catwalk Trail is built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
  • 1978: Catwalk Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail
  • 2012: The lightning-sparked Whitewater/Baldy Fire burns over 290,000 acres in the Trail’s proximity
  • 2013: A catastrophic rain cascades down the burn scar, flooding Whitewater Canyon, and destroying the historic Catwalk
  • 2015: Design and construction begin to restore the historic Trail on August 24th
  • 2016: Catwalk Trail Recreation Area is re-opened to the public on May 28th