Monday, August 8, 2011

bridge Building day 5 or 10 depends on your viewpoint

Reminder, this is the old bridge.  It definitely needed to be replaced.


Yep, I have been very busy and am now dramatically behind in my posts.  I will endeavor to catch up and bring everyone up to speed.  The weekend is over and it was incredibly productive.

On Friday, I had my teenage paid help (non-daughter) come out to help me set up, cut and sort wood.  We spent eight hours sorting wood off the truck, making lots of piles for different parts of the bridge, cutting boards to length and ripping other boards to measured widths.  We even managed to put one whole beam together before it got dark.  A very productive day.  This set the tone for the next day on Saturday.

Piles of pieces ready for installation on the bridge.

 I had three people helping me out this day.  It took two people almost 1.5 hours just to assemble the second beam.  Moving a 42 foot beam made out of 2x10''s is not easy.  Once it starts to bend back and forth it is almost impossible to hold onto.  Having to cross the creek with the beam did not make things easier.  Of course we ended up having to trim both beams in place as they were too long to fit.  By noon we had just managed to place both beams and had been at it for five hours already.  I was not certain we were going to get it done over the weekend let alone that day.

Tread going on, we were breaking for lunch at 1300

You can see the pressure treated beams we made.  Boy was that some
crooked warped wood.  We ended up putting four cross pieces
in to stiffen the side to keep them from bowing.  I had originally
only made plans for two cross pieces. 


We measured the bridge corner to corner after installing the beams.  Now mind you the beams were each 42 feet and 2 inches long, same for each beam.  Not so much when you measured corner to corner.  One corner was three inches longer than the other!!  It never occurred to me to check this dimension when I was building the concrete forms.  A definite newbie mistake.  Luckily, one that is easily corrected by just scootching the board a little wider on one end.  It worked and you cannot tell just by looking that we fudged the distances.  By the time we got to the railing it all seemed to fall in to place.  We had the whole bridge completed, including facing, by 1900 that night, twelve hours from when we started.  I was thrilled!  The bridge looks fantastic and after we rip out the front chain link fence it will look even better.  I am going to wait for our tractor to show up before I do any digging or ripping up anything at this point.  It will be a huge time saver.

I even have enough left over pieces to add about 24 feet of railing up the walkway towards the driveway on one side.  Again, since I have to dig some post holes for this I am going to wait for the tractor to make it easy on myself.  It is going to look very nice by the time we get everything completed.   Now Annmarie thinks I should case in the concrete pillars with cedar and hide those also...

The finished Bridge!!!

Here is a close up of the facing Annmarie wanted to cover up the
pressure treated wood.  It actually makes a huge difference
in appearance for very little money (comparatively).