Wednesday, July 3, 2013

MST Watauga High Shoals Bridge Completed!

This is it! The High Shoals Creek Crossing has been completed!
 Watauga Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail are excited to complete the construction and installation of a new bridge along our trail.
Six years in the making our bridge now spans 50 feet across a creek that is gentle or rages but always promised to get your boots wet!

After many efforts over the years to create a natural stepping stone crossing that would inevitably get washed out in a flooding torrent of high water
 Hikers, walkers, and runners are now able to clear the creek in without missing a step. Congratulations!

The following photos are for the bridge makers, engineers, construction geeks, and detail oriented readers.
The bridge is made of fiberglass pieces, bolts, concrete, stone, and wood.

For more information about the details visit the manufactures web page:

Complete with handrails
 supported by cantilever trusts and braces
this solid design is sturdy and safe.
Each part is bolted and braced into place and constructed on site one piece at a time.
The fiber glass parts are a low intensity green in color that blends naturally with the forest.
The abutment has wings to deflect severe high water and exposed concrete has been finished with stone for a natural aesthetic.
 Readers with an interest in the abutment forms and concrete pouring process can visit my previous blog posts for details on this process.
 An item of interest in the construction process was the creation the solid foot plate that the bridge beams would set upon.
 This detail shot identifies the perfect fit and connect with the cast in place bolts so perfectly built precisely to specs by Larry Hampton and his crew.
  The foot treads are treated 3 X 12 lumber that has been bolted in place and should last a lifetime.
 From the underside the adventurist can study the beams and cross bracing engineered into this design.
 The span of 50 feet has trusses ever 60 inches which support the foot tread and hand rails.
One can imagine many generations of children will explore underneath this bridge looking for trolls no doubt!

The approaching trail has been graded and steps up to true level with the bridge which sits clearly a minimum of four feet above water level and at times 6 feet high,
making for a gentle approach 
to a long awaited bridge across High Shoals Creek.

For a complete review of all stages of construction follow these links or return to the blog for construction parts 1-5.

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