1. Santanoni Historic Area
The Santanoni crew spent their week building a series of bridges. Over the course of five days, they constructed two smaller bridges at 10' and 15', and one bridge spanning a length of 25'. The longer bridge replaced a bridge that had been there since the 1980s. It stood the test of time impressively, but still, every walk across it was a gamble with soaking wet boots and Carharts.
As mentioned in previous updates, the effects of Hurricane Irene threw some project plans into disarray, and this week we had a crew moved across the park from their original assignment to assist with higher priority storm cleanup in the High Peaks area. Known across the radio waves as "Strike Force Sierra," they greatly impressed local rangers and other DEC staff with their hardworking efforts to get the park back on track after the storm. In total they cleared almost 5 miles of trail of overgrowth and blowdowns, in addition to righting a steel suspension bridge that had been upended by the storm. The week was capped off as usual with a trip to the wondrous Newcomb dump and Free Pile!
2. Wilmington Wild Forest
This week the crew moved down trail, having completed the final bridge on the upper section the week before. Monday they started by moving equipment in and carrying lumber to the work site. The crew then started work on the final two bridges of the project. By the end of the week they nearly completed one bridge and had the foundation for the second bridge in place. They left the site in great shape to have the next week’s crew finish up the last of the bridges in Wilmington.
3. Blue Ridge Wilderness, Cascade Pond
On the trail to the recently constructed lean-to near the shores of Cascade Pond, the crew replaced a 36' rustic timber bridge. The bridge spanned an otherwise impassable gap and took the better part of the week to construct. The crew also closed two campsites, dispersing fire rings and rehabilitating vegetated areas; closed a social reroute trail; and wrecked the original bridge.