Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bridge Building 101

In this course, a.k.a., "Introduction to Bridge Construction", the student will be exposed to the joys and heartbreaks of creating a span over a pastoral woodland stream. Your instructors are dedicated engineers and laborers, having hands-on bridge building experience, mostly not catastrophic. The existing stream crossing along the Boehm Pond Trail was potentially hazardous, and the Shelton Trails Committee and several volunteers set out to create a safe crossing.

Click on photos to enlarge
Soon, hopefully, this will become a bridge
The work begins by leveling the 2x6s that will support the structure. While some worked on the bridge, hauling rocks to provide a firm base at each end, others cleared a trail leading to the crossing
The trail had to be clearly defined
"Looks good on this end!"

When it came time to fasten planks onto the main supports, it was discovered that we had screws, but the wrong screw bits! Bill, Eva, and Anthony search for anything adaptable. Jim just stares off into space
Fortunately good neighbor John ran home and was able to provide screws that matched our screw bits
Richard refused to get his feet wet, so much of the plank fastening had to be done from the sitting position

 Jim fastens the last planks
As the sole representative of his neighborhood present for the occasion, John is given the honor of being the first to cross the completed bridge. Ignore the safety hazard at the foot of the bridge
A safe crossing in a pleasing environment...a babbling brook
 While one group worked on the bridge, Terry and his gang of horse thieves were busy clearing and extending  the existing Boehm Pond Trail , following an old farm road to where it meets with Boehm Circle. (Due to privacy concerns, no photos of the thieves were available)
 Some portions of the old road are seasonally wet. Skirting these sections will be a job for a future work party, assuming the gang of horse thieves are released from prison and are available for honest, unpaid work
Bob shows Richard the trash he removed from the vicinity of our trail. The car is not part of the trash

Many thanks to those who helped...volunteers John and his son Brendan, Eva, Anthony, Mark, and Brandon, and Shelton Trails Committee members Bill, Terry, Sheri, Jim, Bob, and Richard

1 comment:

  1. Good post Rich. Thanks to Brandon, Mark, Brenden & Anthony from Shelton High School for helping us out. And John is a brave man for test walking the new bridge (off Winthrop Woods Road).