Pictures by Kate Gomes and Eric Johnson
Story by Larry Gomes
A crew of five volunteers showed up for the first trail work day of 2013 season. The day started with a trip out to Corridor 19 where it crosses Rt. 110A. This section of trail has not seen any heavy equipment since it was first established over 25 years ago and the problems are numerous.
In an average year, this section of trail will serve over 15,000 riders. These riders are going north and south between the Berlin and Errol trail systems and also accessing gas in Milan Village. It is one of the most heavily used trails in the WMRR system, so it is critical that the trail base is smooth so it can be groomed in low snow conditions.
Over the years, rocks have popped up in the middle of the trail creating hazards for the club drags. Water is running down the trail in several areas creating erosion. But the real problem is that a 1/8 mile section of the trail is located on top of a buried pipeline so no heavy equipment can be used on this section. Therefore the goal was to move the trail off the top of the buried pipeline so the needed excavator work can be done.
Bob Morin worked with Dalton Binette to mark each side of the new trail with flag tape through a heavy thicket of alders. Once the trail was marked, Larry Gomes and Eric Johnson used chain saws to cut the alders down to ground level. Kate Gomes worked with Bob and Dalton to remove the cut alders from the path of the new trail. It took the entire morning, but the new route is now complete.
Once the ground dries out this summer, trap rock will be brought in to create a base for the new trail and this will be covered with gravel. The new section of trail will connect with the existing trail at a point where it is no longer on the pipeline. This will allow the excavator to work its way south fixing up this section of Corridor 19 between Rt. 110A and State Garage Road. New gates and rock barriers will be installed on either end to keep wheeled vehicles off the reconstructed trail. New sign posts for trails signs will also be installed.
Bob Morin (left) throws alders cut down by Larry Gomes (center) and Eric Johnson (right)
Dalton Binette drags brush off the new trail route
Bob stacks alders while Larry
continues cutting in the background. Note the trail in the distance across
Rt. 110A that will be connected with this new section.
The second job of the day involved the removal of railings from a 40' bridge that must be re-decked. These railings were built a few years ago and are still in great shape so the club plans on saving them and reinstalling them onto the bridge.
The railings were built in six sections (3 for each side) and bolted together. The crew was able to remove several bolts, but others would not budge. Luckily they had brought a battery operated saws-all that made quick work of cutting off the bolt heads that did not want to move.
Eric Johnson (background) and
Dalton Binette remove bolts holding together the railing sections.
With bolts removed, rails were set down on the bridge deck.
Larry used his ATV to drag the heavy railing sections to either side of the bridge.
With the railings taken off, the bridge deck is now ready to be removed when the excavator gets to this section of trail.
We would like to thank the five volunteers who came out this past weekend to help with these projects. We still plan to continue our spring trail work program until the bugs come out so stay tuned to the WMRR website for details on the next trail work day.