Thursday, September 13, 2012

Race Brook Bridge Repair

Tuesday 4 intrepid souls, Dave Koerber, Don Fairbanks, Richard Wanderman and I made the long climb up the Race Brook trail to the site of a decayed bridge upstream of the upper falls.  For those who might not have seen this bridge, below you see it in better days with Loren Kahn and Dave McCullough making good use of it:

Below is the bridge as we found it on Tuesday.  Removal of the remains was pretty straight forward and rebuilding the abutments took most of the time.  We used rock to build up the abutments so that the new sills will rest only on rock, not soil, which should lengthen the life of the new bridge.

While Dave and Don worked on this end of the business, Richard and I worked to fell the first tree we had selected for the new bridge.  It was a nice straight hemlock, about 13" diameter at the butt and an easy felling job.  The existing bridge was made from much smaller timbers contributing to it's short life. 

Once down we limbed it up and started the debarking effort.  It sure is easier to debark in the spring when the sap is flowing well.  It was slow tedious going.

To fell the second tree we had selected we needed to move the first log harvested out of the felling area.  It took all 4 of us on the log carriers moving about a foot at a time to slowly manuver it out of the way and towards it's ultimate destination. 

With this log out of the way we set to felling our second tree.  This did not go as smoothly as the first tree and fell in an awkward direction and hung up on a nearby tree.  All hands were safe as we had taken precautions for this possibility and I believe we can safely get this tree down with a bit of effort and some additional tools.  This will be our first order of business when we return to resume work. 

As we were getting a bit tired from our efforts and the 4 o'clock whistle was about to sound we gathered our tools up and headed back down the hill, satisfied with a good days work.

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