Pictures and Story by Larry Gomes
A crew of three volunteers showed up for the ninth trail work day of the season and worked on two different bridge projects on Primary Trail 109. The crew included club President and Trail Master Bryan MacDonald, local volunteer Richard Dagesse and Assistant Trail Master Larry Gomes. The day was a picture perfect autumn day with temps just cool enough for trail work.
The first project of the day involved removing a temporary deck that was put down last fall on a 26' bridge over Rocky Pond Brook. Late last fall a hiker reported that the old deck was breaking up and the club did an emergency repair with 2" x 8" lumber to get it through last winter. As each board was removed, the nails were taken out so the boards could be reused on another project.
Here are some pictures from Saturday:
This is a picture of the
bridge over Rocky Pond Brook with its temporary decking in place. The new
lumber to rebuild the bridge
was brought the day before with a boom truck.
The first step was to remove
the railings. These were cut into pieces and then brought to the Berlin
Then the crew removed the runners which were salvaged. The last step was removing the decking. This was made
easier because the crew that installed the deck last fall left 1" spaces between each deck board so pry bars could be inserted.
A picture of Rocky Pond Brook from the center of the bridge. The leaves were just starting to show their fall colors.
After all of the nails were removed from the decking boards, they were loaded up onto the trailers and brought back
to the clubhouse to be used on future bridge projects. Since these boards were only 12' long, they can only be used
for runners or stringers because the club standard is to build all bridges 14' wide.
The second project involved moving wood into another bridge location on PT109. Since this bridge can only be reached by ATV's, the crew had to make three trips with an ATV trailer to bring in all the lumber needed to rebuild that bridge. Once they got to the site, the water was up and over the bridge due to some recent heavy rainfall.
The crew was able to clear some debris that was blocking the outflow of the river, but it will take a while for the water to go down.
Club members have called
this the "floating bridge" for many years. It is in a low lying area that
is prone to flooding after
heavy rains. The bridge was built using hemlock which is long past its useful life You can see on the left side that
many boards are missing.
Club trail master Bryan MacDonald (left) lifts boards with Richard Dagesse a sophmore at Berlin High School. Richard is
an avid snowmobiler and ATV rider who has been one of our key volunteers over the past year.
On Sunday John Higgins and Larry Gomes cut a cord of wood and brought it up to the Warming Hut. Unfortunately neither of them brought their camera so we don't have any pictures.
The two used ATV trailers and got stuck halfway up the Scenic View trail that leads to the Warming Hut. They had to drop one of the trailers and then use 2 ATV's tied together to get the trailers up the hill. Once there, they were able to enlist the help of some ATV riders from the New Hampshire ATV Club (Derry, NH) to load the wood into the wood box at the Warming Hut.
We also got to check out the new stairs that had been built the day before. Check out pictures of those stairs here.
Our sincere thanks go out to all these volunteers who helped with these projects. Please consider giving us a day of your time as we still have a long list of projects to be completed before the snow flies. Stay tuned to the WMMR website for details on upcoming trail work days.