Margaret and Ken Reek spent a week with an Alley Cat crew building two bridges on the Finger Lakes Trail over Wolf Creek in Allegany State Park. Here's some pictures of the project. Click on any picture to see a larger image.
Margaret is laying the deck on the "little" bridge, which spans a channel off to the side of the main creek. It is about 12 feet long and is made of telephone poles sitting on a foundation of rocks.
Ken and Gene are rolling a big flat rock into place; it will be a step up onto the little bridge. Four of us tried to carry this rock but gave that up pretty quickly; we ended up using a 4 wheel drive ATV to drag it from its original location.
The "big" bridge is 60 feet long. The center span of 30 feet is supported by two towers. Here, Ken and "Florida Bob" are steadying one of the posts for the first tower before cement is poured into the hole.
The tower on the other bank is actually in the streambed, about a foot above the water level. This caused the holes we were digging to constantly cave in. Here, we've got the posts for the tower in place and are about to raise them.
We had already raised one post when we found out that whoever marked the locations of the holes had marked the edge of the hole, not the center. Rick, Ben, Ken, and "Florida Bob" are setting the first post into what is now an even bigger hole than before.
Both towers are now in place; you can see the horizontal beam near the bottom of the near tower. We are about to lift the last of three 35 foot telephone poles up onto these beams.
"Chainsaw Bob" is trimming the poles to length.
The approaches on each side of the big bridge were 15 feet long. Rick, Rick and "Bird Bob" are positioning the telephone poles for one approach.
"Bird Bob" is drilling holes for the 16 inch spikes that will secure the approach to the tower. Nate looks on while Rick gives encouragement.
This shows the other approach, and is a good picture of the bridge's construction.
With the addition of decking and railings, we were finished.
Another proud parent!
Here's most of the crew. L-R: Ben, first Rick, "Florida Bob", Howard, Ken, Margaret, "Bird Bob", Larry, and John. Missing from this photo are: second Rick, "Chainsaw Bob," and Gene.
Someone had a neat branding iron with the Finger Lakes Trail logo on it, and used it to put this brand on both bridges. Needless to say, we had to have one of those, so we cut a bunch of thin slices off the end of an unused telephone pole and branded them for souveniers.