Sunday, June 9, 2013

High Shoals Bridge Construction Part 2

In Part 1 we looked the location for the bridge to cross High Shoals Creek. These next two photos show the beauty of the falls just above (south) of the bridge.
 This is a beautiful waterfall that will be visible from the center of the bridge when completed. Watauga Task Force and MST volunteers spent a day clearing debris and downfalls from the river in this location in 2012.
This is the beauty revealed for their efforts. I am sure many memorable photos will be taken from this bridge for many years to come. 
 The rebar is set in the footer and completely cured. A wooden form must be constructed for casting the concrete on the footer.
 The hole in the center is a drainage that will run through the abutment to allow for flood stage build up to drain through the concrete form.
 This is the wooden casting form unfilled.
 Concrete will be pumped into the form from above. The J bars attached to the top will be set down into the wet concrete.
 They will then be anchored in the concrete, the bolts undone from the form, and then they will be the connection for the cross beams.
 Looking back across the river to the west side one can get a good estimate of the length of the bridge span!
 The black felt is a soft but very thick cloth that covers the exposed dirt during construction.
 This felt helps insure the bank stays drier, the workers have good footing, and reduces the potential for soil erosion into the creek.
 The form for the west side from the trail view is about 5 feet high from the footer.
This is a climbing fern colony that has settled in the top of an old tree snag about 10 feet above the ground and within one foot adjacent to the construction site. I have been very impressed with the caution and care Larry Hampton and his crew have taken to insure the least impact on the environment. They are clean, efficient, thoughtful, and considerate of the natural habitat. This fern is my watchdog. If it stays without damage through the construction project I will be mightily impressed.

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