Old Bridge on Airport Property Dismantled

March 5, 2016

Pictures by Dalton Binette
Story by Larry Gomes

Members of the Milan Trail Huggers, the NH ATV Club and the White Mt. Ridge Runners snowmobile club worked together to remove an old bridge on Berlin Airport property in Milan.

The group of 6 volunteers completed the job in two hours and loaded all of the old bridge materials onto a trailer so they can be brought to the recycle center.

The bridge was built without the permission of the airport and is in violation of FAA rules.  If an ATV or snowmobile was to pop up unexpectedly at the end of the runway, it could cause a plane to abort their takeoff or landing.

The airport manager had asked the Milan Trail Huggers club for assistance in removing the bridge.  But because both approaches to the bridge are in wetlands, the bridge had to be taken apart when the ground was frozen.

The weather this weekend was perfect.  With only a few inches of snow on top of frozen ground, vehicles were able to drive to the head of the trail.  A small ATV trailer was used to haul the debris from the bridge location up to a waiting trailer.

The biggest problem was a 3" thick coating of ice on top of the bridge.  After using a sledge hammer to break up the ice, the plywood covering the bridge came up fairly easily.  The bridge was built using 4 frees across the river, but one of the trees had already broken in half leaving the plywood only partially supported in the middle.

Here are some pictures of the project finished on Saturday morning:

Bob McCourt gets ready to unload his ATV while Eric Johnson and Chuck Matthews looks on.

The group starts to break up the ice on top of the bridge using a sledge hammer.

Three ATVs all strapped together were needed to drag the trailer with the bridge materials up the steep hill.
First ATV was driven by Bob McCourt, second ATV was driven by Buddy Dionne and third ATV was driven by Larry Gomes.

Just the logs are left.  These were pulled up onto the bank and cut into pieces.

Our thanks go out to the six volunteers who completed this project:

Buddy Dionne and Chuck Matthews - NH ATV Club
Eric Johnson, Bob McCourt and Dalton Binette - White Mt. Ridge Runners
Larry Gomes - Milan Trail Huggers


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