Veteran Crew Finishes Dismantling Arena Bridge

May 5, 2014

Pictures by Roger Richard, Eric Johnson and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes

Our second trail work day started off with a pleasant surprise as Roger Richard (head builder for the Warming Hut) made a last minute trip up north to be part of our trail work crew.  Roger said "he needed to clear his head" so he got up early and made the drive up to Berlin from central MA.  Since he completed work on the Warming Hut, Roger has spent most of the last two and a half years taking care of his elderly parents so he has not been able to get away for summer or winter play time. 

Another early riser was Eric Johnson who drove up early on Saturday morning to be part of the work crew.  Two local high school students, Dalton Binette and Richard Dagesse, who are frequent volunteers on club trail work projects completed the team.

The goal for the day was to strip the decking from the old bridge and transport it to the recycling center.  Our club president, Bob Roderique had obtained all of the necessary permits and had them at the clubhouse ready to go.  Our club trail master, Bryan MacDonald had dropped off his heavy duty trailer for hauling the debris.  Larry brought his ATV and the club trailer that was used to shuttle debris from the west side of the bridge out to the street.

The entire project went like clockwork.  Roger and Eric started in the middle of the bridge and worked their way east, while Dalton and Richard started in the middle and worked their way west.  Larry got to work cutting back the brush on the west side of the bridge to make way for the new wider replacement bridge.  After Roger and Eric had filled the trailer with the first load, Dalton and Richard joined them for the unload at the recycle center.

The second load was shuttled out using Larry's ATV and the club trailer.  Everyone pitched in with the loading and then four crew members headed back to the recycle center for the second unload.

The final project of the day was loading all of wood that was cut down to make room for the new bridge.  This wood was brought back to the clubhouse and will be used to heat the clubhouse next winter.  By 2:00pm, the entire job was done and the crew members were on their way back home.

Our thanks go out to Roger, Eric, Dalton, Richard and Larry for their work on this project.  The next step will be to dismantle the old steel beams and start building ramps for the replacement bridge. 

Here are some pictures from Saturday:

Dalton and Richard start work on their side of the bridge removing some patches that were installed last fall.


Roger and Eric had to deal with the steel beams shaking back and forth as they removed their decking.  The more decking they removed,
the shakier the steel got.  Luckily no one fell in.


Dalton and Richard use two bars to pry up the decking.  This end of the bridge was more solid than any other section.


After just two hours, Roger and Eric had removed the decking from the main span of the bridge and had loaded it onto the trailer.
Dalton and Richard finished stripping their end of the bridge just as the trailer loading was completed.


The first load of debris arrives at the recycle center ready to be unloaded into a massive wood pile.  Once or twice a year,
a large machine is brought in to chip all of this wood.


The ATV and small trailer were used to shuttle debris out to the larger trailer.


In just 5 hours, the crew had removed all of the decking, transported it to the recycle center and cleaned up all the trash
from the area.  Sometime in the next few weeks, the steel beams will be cut way from their supports and transported back to
 the WMRR clubhouse to be used on future bridge projects.


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