Pictures by Eric Johnson and Larry
Story by Larry Gomes
Volunteers from the White Mt. Ridge Runners snowmobile club put in an extra long day and came very close to finishing the project. Realistically there is another day of work left to address the last few items on the list.
A total of 7 volunteers showed up for the fourth work day of this project. The crew was broken up into two groups; one group at the clubhouse and another group at the bridge. The crew at the bridge took a trailer load of materials that include 4" x 6" railing posts to be installed on the bridge. As soon as they arrived, they cut last of the posts to length and then started to install the posts with timber lags.
The crew at the clubhouse was tasked with material preparation including cutting braces, staining railings and cutting the parts needed for the benches.
The project actually started on Thursday with the delivery of a large load of lumber needed for the railings and the railing braces. Leo Couture volunteered to get the load broken down, organized and dried out. He took one of the club groomers out of the garage and then built makeshift racks to hold the lumber. He then stacked all of the lumber on the racks so it would air-dry and started a fire in the club's wood stove and kept that fire stoked for 2 days. The result was some nicely dried out lumber that was ready for staining when the crew arrived on Saturday.
As the wooden parts were cut at the clubhouse, they were transported to the bridge site for installation. It all worked smoothly and by 6:30pm, the railings and runners were installed and the bridge was essentially complete except for the benches.
Everyone worked extremely hard and our thanks go out to this group for a fantastic effort. Several people walking over the bridge during the day stopped to thank the volunteers for their work so we know our efforts are going to be appreciated.
Here are some pictures from Saturday:
Eric Johnson snapped
this shot of Mt. Washington on his way up from Loudon early on Saturday morning.
He said it was
crystal clear and you could clearly see the buildings on the summit and the weather continued to be perfect for the rest of the day.
One of the two stacks of
lumber that was set up by Leo Couture on Thursday to allow it to dry out.
Leo said the lumber was not
only wet but also frozen so it was a good thing he dried it out.
Carl Bull and Dalton Binette waste no time in getting started on the staining. The middle rail and top rail of the bridge were
stained to dress it up and the benches will also be stained. The remainder of the bridge will be left to weather naturally.
Rob Gomes came up from
Rhode Island and brought a large chop saw and stand. He used the stand to
set up a jig to cut the
railing braces and the final cut was done using a skill saw. In the foreground is a prototype of the bench that will go onto the bridge.
The prototype was built by Don LeClair of the Bridgewater Mountain Snowmobile Club earlier this year.
Don used a design off the Internet for inspiration. When Rob finished cutting the braces,
he followed Don's design to create another jig to cut all of the parts for the benches.
Back at the bridge, the
guys were making great progress installing the railing posts.
In this picture, one side of the bridge is done and they are ready to start the other side.
Finally both sides are
done and the bridge crew is ready for the braces.
The bridge crew takes time for lunch before starting to install the railing braces. From left is Eric Johnson,
Leo Couture and Dave Lemeire.
Each post gets two braces screwed in at the top and the bottom. The screws were having a difficult time penetrating the wood so,
Eric came up with the idea of hammering them in to start and it worked great. The screws have a special star bit that
is not widely available to discourage vandalism.
Larry Gomes works with
Dave Lemeire to install a top railing board in one of the three
The alcoves created a lot of cutting and fitting work, but they will be the focal points on the
bridge once the benches are installed.
Leo Couture and Eric Johnson work on railing installation on another of the alcoves. Dalton Binette (background)
works on installing a straight section of rail. In addition to staining, Dalton also transported materials from the clubhouse
and helped out where needed.
The last job of the day was to nail down the solid deck of runners across the bridge.
The solid deck will protect the bridge beams from getting worn by snowmobile runners and picks.
Once it gets worn out, the boards can be easily pried up and replaced. Here Larry uses
his Paslode nail gun to make short work of this task while Leo starts the cleanup.
With the exception of a
few railing parts and some runners the bridge is done. The additional
will be ordered and installed along with the benches during the next work day.
You only have one more opportunity to be part of this historic project!. Watch the WMRR website for the final work day for this bridge!