Monday, August 1, 2011

Boardwalk and Bridge Construction in Manistee National Forest -- An AHS Volunteer Project

Michigan's Manistee National Forest has a large segment of the 4600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail. The section that traverses Sterling Marsh floods every year and all attempts to solve the problem have failed.  So an ambitious three year project to build 4000 feet of boardwalk is nearing completion, and our volunteer crew from the American Hiking Society assisted volunteers from the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association for a week.

Wooden bridges as seen below were not working when many inches of water were present...



...so posts were buried, cross pieces mounted and side rails attached as seen below...



...and decking attached as below.  Then a curb rail was affixed to make the boardwalk handicap accessible.




Here's the finished product...


We also assisted the nearby Western Michigan Chapter of the NCTA in replacing the bridge shown below with a more substantial one...



These two large poles were used as stringers and are resting atop sills which are attached to two poles that are buried 5 feet deep for stability...



After decking the bridge surface, approach ramps were build from ground level to bridge level...




...and a railing attached.  Below is the final product...



The entire process for both construction projects is documented in this brief video...





Here's the AHS group, along with Loren and Dave from NCTA...


Kneeling: Wendy, Kyla, Loren, Dottie, and Terri
Standing: Jim, Annette, Natalie, Chuck, Sue, Kasey, and Dave

The AHS crew also went kayaking on the Pere Marquette River on our off day, and those photos are here.

Chuck's other volunteer trail projects.

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