Floating Bridge Project Completed on PT109

September 28, 2013

Pictures by John Higgins and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes

A crew of five volunteers showed up for the tenth trail work day of the season and worked on two different bridge projects on Primary Trail 109.   The crew included local volunteer Richard Dagesse and Dalton Binette, Eric Johnson, John Higgins and Assistant Trail Master Larry Gomes.  Mother nature cooperated by providing a beautiful fall day.

The first project of the day involved moving some steel I-beams to the Rocky Pond Bridge work site.  Last week a crew of volunteers removed a temporary deck that was put down last fall on this bridge.  But this bridge was only built with 2 steel I-beams and the club wanted to provide more stability to the bridge deck by adding two more beams.  The beams were purchased through the efforts of club member Pete McGillen who used to work for a steel company.  He had the beams prepared and delivered to the WMRR clubhouse.

John Higgins hooked up to the trailer and towed the beams out to the bridge site where the crew pulled them off the trailer using a strap around a tree. 

The second project of the day was the redecking of another bridge about 3 miles further south on the trail.  This bridge (called the floating bridge) can only be reached by foot or ATV so the crew came prepared with four ATV's and a trailer.  The plan was to remove the old deck, cut it into pieces, haul it out using the ATV trailer and then transfer the old decking to another larger trailer so it can be brought to the recycling center.   All of the wood needed to rebuild the bridge was brought in last weekend so once the old decking was gone, installing the new deck would easy. 

Everything went according to plan and the floating bridge was done by 2 pm.  Then the trouble started.  The guys decided to head further south to do a trail inspection.  But they ran into a big problem.  You can read about that here.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from Saturday:

John hooked his dually pickup to the trailer with the steel beams.  Even though the end of the steel was close to the ground,
it never hit during the entire trip.


Eric (right) fills up the chain saws while Larry (left) does a last minute check on the straps holding down the club ATV trailer.


Once the steel arrived at the job site, the crew used some straps tied to a tree to hold it in place while the
trailer was pulled out from underneath it.


The steel is now ready for installation.  MG construction will be using their excavator to set the steel in place.


Last week the crew cleared out some debris that was blocking the outlet of the river.  Over the following week, the water level
went down and the bridge site dried out nicely.


On the other side of the bridge, John found this fresh bear paw print. 

When they arrived, the crew pried up the old runners and then shoveled the mud off the deck of the bridge. They then cut
the sides off the bridge and put the new side beams in place.  Left to right is Dalton, Richard and Eric.  Dalton and Richard
made several trips with the ATV trailer bringing out all of the old wood.


The decking was cut in half and then pulled up two boards at a time and piled up at the end of the bridge so it could be hauled away.
The main carrying beams of this bridge are 4 old telephone poles that are still in excellent condition.


Halfway done!


With the decking complete and the runners in place, its time for lunch.  The club Paslode nail gun made quick work of nailing down the boards.
By the time the bridge was done, all of  the old lumber had been hauled out.

Here's where all the old lumber ended up - on our Trail Masters trailer ready to go to the recycling center.

This is a picture of the Upper Ammonoosuc River that was taken by John from
a large rock sticking out into the river.

Many thanks go out to these dedicated volunteers for all of their help.  We still have many more projects to complete before the snow flies so how about spending a day with us? 

Check the website for the next trail work date.


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