Project Leader: Alice Webber Project Dates: May 22 - August 15, 2010 Eldorado National Forest 100 Forni Rd. Placerville, CA 95667 Phone: (208)631-7428 Email address: email@example.com
Location: Pony Express Trail; Fred’s Place Bridge and Clubhouse Bridge. Rt. 50, near Kyburz, CA.
Dates: June 7, 2010 – June 15, 2010
- Total Trail Maintained (ft): 600
- Sites Rehabilitated: 1
- Bridges (how many): 2
- Bridges (ft): 45
- Drainage Structures (how many): 1
Hitch Chief: Alice Webber
The start of our 2010 field season in Eldorado National Forest began with the introduction of our agency contact and friend, Bill Walker, who oriented us to our new home, office, and the worksite we’d soon become well acquainted with; Fred’s Place Bridge. We dove right into the building of our first project wide-eyed and ready to learn, as this was the first construction site for most members of the team. The project began with the construction of plywood forms that would eventually hold and mold the concrete abutments of the 25 ft. bridge. The team learned multiple ways and techniques to square both sides of the bridge with the use of levels, measuring tape, and the advice of “measure, remeasure, and measure again, just for good measure.” For structural support, the team learned to build cages made of rebar that would be placed inside the forms so that the cement has something to bond to and would therefore be stronger.
With both forms of Fred’s Place Bridge built and supported, inside and out, squared and parallel, we were ready to pour the cement. 88 bags were hauled into the worksite, though 65 were mixed and poured in the West abutment, and 12 into the Eastside. It was a physically challenging activity, but a great and welcomed way to get dirty and see firsthand the foundation of the bridge secured.
In the days that followed, the team was introduced to the second bridge site, named Clubhouse Bridge, and had the opportunity to survey the site and form a plan to begin construction. Also along the Pony Express Trail, we identified, surveyed, and hauled materials to the five sites that we would eventually be installing two 36 inch and three 24 inch perforated pipes for culverts. A visit to the work center one late afternoon brought a chance to help Forest Service employee Barbara paint and prepare the Eldorado NF booth for the upcoming State Fair; it was a fun and new way spend the afternoon lending a hand!
Back on the trail for the weekend brought the teams’ beginning to culvert construction. While a couple members spent the day doing trail maintenance in a narrowed section with dense vegetation, the rest of the crew began with diverting the water and excavating out a hole for the pipe. Throughout the day, material was collected, including rocks for retaining walls and small rocks and mineral soil to raise the tread, and building of the culvert henceforth went smoothly. On the second day of work on our first culvert, the team was met with an early interruption in the form of a medical priority which required the full attention of the project leader and affected member. While the two aforementioned members were otherwise occupied, the remaining four members of the team worked together to build a structurally sound culvert with proper drainage. The return to the finished culvert the following day was met with a successful culvert; strong, solid retaining walls to hold the culvert and surrounding soil in place, slowed water through set uphill rip rap draining through the culvert with none going under or around the pipe, and a solid layer of crush and soil to protect the pipe under heavy weight (most likely horses).
The team returned to Fred’s Place Bridge at the start of the new week and return of Bill. The plywood forms were deconstructed and the massive concrete structures left to dry for the rest of the week. With that worksite at a good stopping point for the hitch, the crew returned to the familiar stretch of the Pony Express Trail to begin their second culvert. With the first hitch quickly coming to an end, the crew was able to excavate the particularly swampy and heavily vegetated site to begin installation and get it solid in the ground and passable for hikers who might come through until the team could return to finish in the weeks to come.