Pictures and Story by Larry Gomes
A crew of four volunteers showed up for the eighth trail work day of the season and finished two bridge building projects plus a one-of-a-kind gate project. The crew included club VP Mike Godbout, groomer operator Marcel Belanger, long time volunteer John Higgins (AKA "The Taskmaster") and Assistant Trailmaster Larrry Gomes. The day started rainy, but as the crew was loading up, the rain stopped and work was able to proceed as scheduled.
The first project of the day was completing work on the 40' bridge on Corridor 19 just north of State Garage Road. Work has been ongoing on this bridge since Labor Day but the big push came last weekend when most of the decking and railings were installed.
A wing wall on the north side of the bridge was found to be rotten so the excavator dug it out and the crew needed to replace it with railroad ties. Once the wing wall was in place, the remaining decking was nailed down onto the bridge and the remaining railings were screwed down to the deck. The final job was installing railing supports.
The wing wall at the far end
of the bridge was found to be rotten so the excavator removed it and the crew
replaced it with RR ties.
Once the wing wall was in, a bulldozer pushed the dirt back into place and smoothed over the ramp leading up to the bridge.
Here is a picture of the completed bridge with the new deck, reinforced railings and the dirt ramps rebuilt.
Our second project of the day involved some bridge building and doing some cement work just south of Rt. 110A. The cement work was needed due to complications that we ran into installing a gate that was very close to a buried pipeline. We put in the post for the "hinge" side of the gate, but the pipeline manager would not allow us to put in the post for the "locking" side of the gate (even though were were going to dig in this post by hand). He said it was too close to the pipeline and therefore no digging was allowed.
So we had to come up with a new plan. We decided to build a two foot square cube of cement with a ring in the center that would be used instead of a post to lock the gate. Since it has rained hard the night before, getting the cement mixer in place turned out to be the hardest part of the job. Just an FYI in case you were wondering: cement mixer wheels are way to small for crossing through mud!
After a major struggle, we finally got the cement mixer in place. We ran extension cords to a our club welder for power and using water from a nearby stream we were able to mix up 13 bags of cement in about an hour. It was not something we want to do again any time soon, but given the many different obstacles we had to avoid when relocating this section of trail, it was good to get the job done and behind us. Luckily we remembered the camera for this part of the job...
This is the completed bridge
at the 110A crossing. Originally this bridge was supposed to be a culvert,
but NH DOT said
we could not put in a culvert because it would be located to close to an existing culvert that crosses Rt. 110A. In the event DOT
needs to work on their culvert, this bridge can be easily lifted out of the way and replaced after the work is done.
In the distance, the "hinge" post for the gate is just barely visible.
John scouted around and
found out that we could use an access road to a nearby electrical substation to
get close to the gate
we were installing without going up the trail. Its a good thing he made this suggestion, because the trail was so wet from
rain the night before that we would have been stuck in foot deep mud. On the left is the trailer with the bags of cement and
on the right is the club welder that we used as a generator to run the cement mixer.
The wooden form for the 2' x
2' cube is in place and the cement mixer has been dragged across the mud and is
positioned so it can dump
mixed cement directly into the cube. Bags of cement have been staged on a nearby rock and John (in the background) has a bucket of
water taken from a nearby stream ready to go. Marcel (foreground) is heading back to start the generator. The cube of cement
weighed over 1/2 ton when it was done, more than enough to provide a secure locking point for the gate.