Pictures by John Higgins and Larry
Story by Larry Gomes
Our tenth trail work day was spent rebuilding a 16' foot bridge and starting on a 47' bridge. Like the bridges we rebuilt last week, these bridge decks were completely rotted and the crew had to be careful they did not break through.
Just like last week, the "Silver Riders" had moved all the lumber needed to the 16' bridge site saving us a lot of time. This group of older club member get together for a ride every week; and they worked for several hours on Friday to load the lumber onto trailers and bring it into the bridge sites. Many thanks go out to Bob Rodrigue, Marcel Belanger, Ron LaRoche and Roger Pelletier for moving this wood.
This week our crew consisted of six people including John Higgins, Eric Johnson, Dave Lemeire, Leo Couture, Rob Gomes and Larry Gomes. The Silver Riders had told us there were some trees down going out towards the 47' bridge, so Leo Couture and Dave Lemeire headed out to cut those blow downs. John Higgins had already gone ahead to the 47' bridge to take the railings downs. The remaining three members of the crew got to work on the 16' bridge.
The first step was to cut the decking into 5' long pieces. The wood was so rotted that the crew had to be careful the decking did not fall into the river. In less than a half-an-hour, the deck was taken apart and stacked next to the trail. The crew then removed the old stringers and installed a set of new stringers. Finally the deck beams were carried into place. The rest of the crew came back just into time help with the nailing of the new deck beams. Within two hours, this bridge was done.
The crew picked up the tools and moved to the next bridge location where they started the process over again. Some late afternoon rain brought the day to an early close, but we were happy with our progress.
Here are some pictures from Saturday:
Eric Johnson looks over
the 16' bridge to be rebuilt. The ATV's and trailers were breaking through
as they crossed the bridge.
Rob Gomes made the trip
up north from Rhode Island to help this week. Here he stands on a board in
between the beams
and throws a section of old decking to Eric so it can be stacked next to the trail.
The entire crew pitched
in to nail down the new deck boards Left to right is Dave Lemeire, Leo Couture,
Eric Johnson and John Higgins.
With the runners installed, bridge number three is officially done.
Tools are loaded and
crew is ready to head out to the next bridge site.
Some downed trees had to
be cleared on the way to the next bridge.
The 47' bridge just before demolition started.
After using a chainsaw to cut the decking into pieces, Larry lifts out the old deck boards and hands them to his brother Rob.
Here Rob Gomes hands some old decking to Leo Couture. The old decking was cut into 4' long sections to make it easier to handle.
With the old decking removed, it's time to start laying down the new stringers.
Leo Couture, Rob Gomes
and John Higgins work to installed doubled up 2" x 6" x 16' as stringers for the
new bridge deck.
Eric Johnson and Dave Lemiere (not shown) were using ATV trailers to transport new lumber into the bridge site.
With rain starting, it was time to pack up and head home.
Soon after these stringers got installed, it started to rain and the crew quickly packed up and headed out of the woods to keep the tools from getting soaked. Even though the day was cut short, some great progress was made on this bridge. Only about 1/3rd of the old decking is left so it should only take a few hours before this bridge is ready for decking.
Many thanks to the volunteers for another job well done!