The Differences Between P-Series and PV-Series Bridges

The flexibility of ReadySpan materials ensures that you get just what you need for your specific application. Whether you need a pedestrian bridge, trail bridge, golf bridge, industrial bridge or a bridge for something else, our team will first help you determine whether you need a P-Series or PV-Series ReadySpan bridge.

The “P” in P-Series stands for pedestrian, so that’s the way to go if you need your bridge to handle walkers, joggers and cyclists. P-Series pedestrian bridges generally range from 10' to 90' in length with widths from 3' to 6'. They’re designed to handle pedestrian loads of 85 pounds per square foot (PSF), which is the most severe loading condition and governs the design of the bridge.

The “PV” in PV-Series stands for pedestrian vehicle, and they’re designed to handle vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds. Ranging from 10' to 100' in length with widths from 7' to 10', they’re also great for equestrian applications.

In the video below, ReadySpan Sales Account Manager Ted Harris goes over the differences between the bridge types, the importance of aspect ratio and more to help guide you on your ReadySpan bridge project. Then we’ll take a deeper look at the two categories.

Determining the Category

It seems simple. If your bridge will only have people on it, it’s a pedestrian bridge. But the engineering, of course, has to go a lot deeper than that. As part of the structural analysis for your bridge — included at no extra cost on every ReadySpan bridge project — our engineers will determine the load requirements for your bridge based on the expected use, environmental conditions and more. We follow the design standards established by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 7-10, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, and then our experienced team utilizes their own expertise to help ensure ideal specifications.

As you saw in the video, the aspect ratio of the bridge is essential for determining the proper load rating. The aspect ratio is the ratio of the length to width, and for safety purposes we want that to be less than 15. As noted, the largest P-Series pedestrian bridge would be 6' wide and 90' long. It’s difficult to maintain the required 85 PSF load rating for anything wider or longer. Examples of P-Series pedestrian bridges include a park bridge, trail bridge, golf bridge and an industrial bridge used as a walkway.

If you need a longer or wider bridge, or you plan to have horses, ATVs or utility vehicles on your bridge, it’s time to move to the PV-Series. Wider, longer and designed to handle a 10,000-pound H-5 vehicle load, PV-Series bridges are used in a variety of applications. They’re often used as a state park bridge or ATV bridge to handle horse traffic and light vehicles. PV-Series is also a great choice for a golf bridge on a cart path and industrial bridges where light equipment is used.

In some cases, such as a short golf bridge just wide enough to handle a cart, a P-Series bridge may work fine even if there will be light vehicle traffic or horses. That’s why our ReadySpan team will go over all the usage needs and load guidelines before making a recommendation. Our goal is always to get you your dream bridge at a great value.

Easy to Install

While the P-Series and PV-Series have some structural differences, they also share a lot of traits. You get all the durability benefits of fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials for year after year of virtually maintenance-free performance. But perhaps the most important common feature of all ReadySpan pre-engineered bridges is the installation ease.

Though FRP offers the strength of steel, its light weight makes it easy to transport to even the most remote site. All ReadySpan trail bridge components are shipped predrilled with the necessary hardware. No special experience or tools are needed for assembly, so ReadySpan bridges can be installed by virtually anyone. You can also choose to have your bridge shipped in modules for simple final assembly in the field, or you can have your bridge completely pre-assembled so that it can be easily dropped into your space and secured.

When you work with our team to determine your ReadySpan P-Series or PV-Series needs, they’ll go over the delivery and assembly options with you. So get started on your ReadySpan pedestrian, equestrian or light vehicle bridge today. Request a quote or call 814-623-8125 to discuss your project.