Vergennes Gateway Stairs, Vergennes, VT

Structural engineering was provided for a durably finished, cast-in-place concrete elevated stair structure. The project involved creating access on a steep slope alongside of an operating electric power generating dam on a tight site with a soft riverbank prone to flooding at the bottom.

The decision to create a fabric formed concrete structure allowed for a more durable and less costly solution. The continuous concrete wall system allowed for the distribution of the load with minimal shoring. The aesthetic design bridges existing abandoned underground features that would have otherwise required removal.

Standard sawn lumber was used to construct geotextile formwork on site, and then repurposed. The lumber was reused for additional construction projects. The fabric was reused as geotextile for slope stability.

The work includes designs conforming to the governing building code (IBC) requirements, including seismic criteria, and rail attachments. 

The finished project replaces antiquated utility stairs with a broader less steep series of staircases and platforms that allow for canoe portage and viewing of the falls.