Location: Pony Express Trail; Fred’s Place Bridge, Clubhouse Bridge. RT. 50, near Kyburz, CA.
Dates: 07/05/2010 - 07/13/2010
- Total Trail Maintained (ft): 475
- Trail Rehabilitation/Reconstruction (ft): 80
- Sites Rehabilitated: 4
- Stone Retention (ft2): 80
- Bridges: 2
- Bridges (ft): 45
- Drainage Structures: 2
Hitch Chief: T.J. Agin
On our third hitch, we finished our projects along the Pony Express Trail. The 25 foot bridge at Fred’s place is completely finished after a day’s worth of dirt moving to complete both approaches, and rehabbing the utility road back to its original trail width. Now that the bridge has nice ramps leading up to it, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers alike can move smoothly onto the bridge and safely over the water. Next year, the Pony Express rider will not have to leave the trail to find a suitable place to cross. Additionally, vehicles can no longer approach the bridge, as we pulled a large log in front of the vehicle access route with the use of rigging. Moving that rather weighty wood afforded the crew a great chance to see a grip hoist set up to execute a straight pull.
While some of the crew finished rehabilitating the Fred’s Place worksite to make the site look as though we had never been working there, others headed to work on the second bridge. The other bridge is around 4800 feet from a parking lot, and it is from this parking lot that all materials must be brought up to the bridge. Using a power carrier in addition to human carriers [the crew], we moved all the decking planks, railings, and posts, including 13 foot long pieces of redwood. Over the next couple days, decking was secured onto the stringers (girders), posts were attached, and railings were set in place. After fill was added to the approaches of the bridge, giving nice access ramps, and the site was rehabbed and stripped of evidence of our presence, we experienced our first encounter with rain on the trail this season. The rain was a moderate to heavy sprinkle at best, but it was nice to experience some variety, that spice of life; and I’m sure the plants pounced at the chance to grab some passing precipitation from otherwise parched soil.
Bridges completed, our crew moved on to other structures that put the trail above the water: culverts! Culverts are truly exciting. When installing a culvert one may expect a fair amount of boulder bashing, root ripping, dirt dumping, and some wayward water whose wanderings must be considered. And, in the end, one may hope that a beautiful habitat has been created for invertebrates, amphibians, and any other local flora and fauna while trail users are kept on a dry trail. Our crew used 36 inch and 24 inch culverts at various points along the Pony Express Trail. Culvert installation involves digging holes to the appropriate size and slope, setting the culvert securely in place, and ensuring that water is flowing through and not around or under the culvert. A minimum of 8 inches of mineral soil was placed on top of the culvert and compacted to form nice tread and cushion to protect the culverts from indentation under great weights (particularly from horses). While completing the culverts we put in rock walls in order to retain dirt and ease erosion. Additionally, a brush saw and loppers were used to clear trail corridor.