Our Stories

Spring Creek Bridge Replacement: Trail Project Highlight

Categories: Trail Maintenance, Volunteer Stories, Wisconsin

The bridge replacement project was originally scheduled for November 2019 but due to unseasonably cold weather and the coronavirus pandemic, bridge reconstruction finally occurred in mid-June 2020.

The Wisconsin Roving Trail Crew replaced a bridge near Solon Springs this summer.

All photos by Jane and Bob Leedle
by Bob Leedle

The original bridge was constructed in 2008 with two under support beams separated by approximately 30 inches. The distance between the beams was spanned by 2 x 10 cross pieces spaced every two feet for the entire 30 feet of the bridge. The supporting beams were made on-site by laminating three 2 x 12s separated by three-quarter-inch sheets of plywood. Deck boards ran parallel to the support beams. The bridge had hand rails on both sides. The west end of the bridge rested on a sill of two 6 x 6s nailed side-by-side. The east end of the bridge rested on a roughly three-foot high, five-foot square crib constructed of 6 x 6s. The center of the crib was filled with large rocks. The upstream and near-the-water corner of the crib had washed out and dropped-down creating a severe twist in the bridge which necessitated its replacement.

The replacement bridge is an A-frame type constructed of 20-foot 4 x 6s with a total of seven 2 x 12 uprights. The new bridge is 40 feet long with a maximum center height of nine feet. For the first time steel pans were used to support the bridge. Both ends of the bridge rest on pans anchored with an approximately three-foot long, two-inch galvanized steel pipe driven down through holes at the ends of the pan. The pans are 18 inches wide and about seven inches long. Two side-by-side vertical 4 x 4s are bolted at the top of the pans. A 2 x 10 is bolted to the vertical 4 x 4s at the needed height to support the bridge. The bridge rests on the 2 x 10. Reconstruction began with disassembly of the old bridge. First we removed the hand rails and the ramps. We moved the bridge off its supporting structures to about three feet downstream from its original location. We then disassembled the east end supporting crib.