Pictures by John Higgins and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes
Members of the White Mt. Ridge Runners snowmobile club completed repairs on the Trestle Bridge behind Valley Creek Eatery.
This is the third repair that the club has done to the bridge. The club applied for funds to fix the bridge in 2013 but that request was rejected. In 2014 the club applied again and this time the request was approved but due to paperwork shuffling and red tape, the money still had not come through.
For the past two repairs, the club was able to nail boards over holes that had developed in the bridge deck. But now, the underlying timbers are so rotted, there is nothing to nail to.
So the volunteers used a floating deck design consisting of cross supports and dual central runners that sit on top of the existing deck spanning the steel I-Beams. If the underlying decking gives way, then the cross supports will land on the steel beams and keep the sleds from falling through.
Here are some pictures of the repair project finished on Saturday morning:
Dalton Binette operates a backhoe donated by Ray's Electric in Berlin to remove
a concrete barrier blocking the bridge.
Dalton Binette and Jake
Hallgren put down the cross supports.
All of the cross supports are down and now its time for the runners.
The crew unloads the
runners donated by the Bureau of Trails. They were all old boards removed
bridges so first the crew had to remove all of the old nails. In this picture, Jake is removing nails, Dalton
is carrying one of the boards, John Higgins is preparing to grab another board off the trailer and
Eric Johnson is standing on the trailer.
With the nails removed, the crew places a dual set of runners down the center of the bridge.
All of the runners are now in place and ready for nailing.
Eric Johnson installs a
new gas cartridge in the nail gun.
While the crew was
working on the bridge deck, Larry Gomes used some borrowed waders to
collect boards that had fallen off the bridge into the river.
As the everyone was
pulling out, a snow squall reduced visibility reminding us the hopefully winter
will be arriving soon.
Our thanks go out to the volunteers who completed this project and allowed this bridge to be open this winter.
We hope to be rebuilding this bridge in the spring right after the snow melts so please keep that in mind since we will need lots of help for that project.