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Story of the

Corridor Trail C-4M:

The following pictures tell most of the story for completing the T.C. Riders section of the
Camden - Williamstown Corridor Trail C-4M.  More or better pictures may surface over time.  

The railroad bridge was removed long ago.
This light-duty bridge was suitable for ATV's in the summer.  
For safe snowmobile operation and to carry the weight of
Class A grooming equipment, a new bridge was mandatory.

This picture is from our first exploration of the possible trail routing (2011). 
The woods riding is quite picturesque.

The first chore before trying to ride the trail from Camden to Westdale or to get the Tucker thru,
was to open up these woods just outside of Camden. 

After sorting out the route and doing some initial clearing, it was time to do a trial run with the Tucker. Also accomplished on this first run was some basic staking, signing, and a whole lot of trimming. 
The trail has a lot of aspects: woods, fields, & railroad bed.

Slow going getting the Tucker to Westdale on the first run. . . .  (January 2011)

. . . . but the troopers would not be deterred and bulled their way through.

Breaking thru the trees last winter was only part of the story.  There were places to widen,
numerous stumps to remove, and sections to grade.  A day with a bulldozer and excavator made it nice.  Many hours were spent clearing brush, cutting low limbs, & removing blowdowns on all sections of trail.   The railroad was not a clear shot and required almost as much work as going straight though the woods.  Once we cleared to the bridge shown in the first picture, things started to happen,
as seen in the following pictures.

We needed to procure two 73' steel beams.   Then the job of getting them to the bridge site loomed large.   Here is what it took to load the beams onto the truck.

Once loaded, the trucking began, early one morning to avoid traffic.

After unloading, the beams had to travel one mile on the railroad bed to the bridge site. 
A telehandler and a bulldozer teamed up to pull/push the beams.

Once dropped at the site, the next step was to put them into position on the concrete abutment left over from the railroad bridge.  The abutments were just the right size and in excellent condition.

The crane is in position to begin work.  To get the crane down the railroad, we had to rewiden the entire length. The width was OK for the Tucker and sleds, but not for the crane. 
So we started all over again and cleared it out wider.

First job for the crane was to remove the old bridge.  
Fortunately, the crane operator had a rigger who knew just what to do.

The crane used all it's available grunt to get this job done.

The first 73' beam goes into position.

The second beam goes into position, and the hard part is done.

Decking the bridge was done by first constructing pallets in the groomer barn,
using 4x6 hemlock planks.

The pallets were removed from the barn using a telehandler, then stacked in a pile . . . .

. . . . then later loaded on the truck for delivery to the bridge.

The telehandler set the pallets on the bridge beams . . . .

. . . . and using a tractor winch the pallets were pulled into position across the beams.

Almost done installing the deck pallets.

First bridge traffic!!

All we need is snow.   But Wait!!!   There's More!!!

No rest for the wicked.   Another bridge to replace.
This is just beyond the big bridge seen above, heading toward Williamstown.
The steel is in position.   A total of 16 trusses, welded into triples and doubles will do the job.

Placing concrete abutments for Bridge #2.

This decking job is a bit simpler and easier than for the big bridge, but still a lot of work for our nearly worn out bridge crew.  (After this decking job, they still had one more small one to do!)

Here's a couple of "Before & After" pictures of the second bridge replacement . . .

And here is the finished #2 bridge on the railroad to Williamstown.
This picture was taken while pulling stakes and signs, end of first season with the new trail.

Redecking the Big Bridge
@ Dingle St. (C-4i)
November 2012

The decking and rails lasted about 10 years (hemlock)
with some repairs over the years.   It's now time for a complete redecking.

The ramp only serves to elevate the main bridge over the stream to comply with DEC
minimum distance between the water and the bottom of the bridge beams.   This helps prevent
the bridge from snagging debris drifting downstream and thus maybe damming the stream.

Ramp decking in place.
The harder work is clearing the bridge beams of the old decking, nails, and screws.

Messy work done (but still gotta remove the old lumber).   Now the 'funner' part can begin.

Looking west toward Camden, the decking is complete ....  

. . . . and the railing finishes the job.  
Just need to add hazard markers on the bridge rail and the job is done.

Another view looking west toward Camden.
For 10 years we have navigated around those two trees marked with tape.
With luck, they will be gone before the snow flies and make bridge entry so much easier.

How about a rousing chorus of "THANK YOU!" for the volunteers who keep our trails and bridges
in safe condition without regard for weather or working conditions:

clearing brush, cutting limbs, removing debris, cutting stumps and trees, draining and filling water holes, resolving beaver problems, cleaning up litter left by loosers, dealing with ice/snow storm damage (which often closes trails), clearing numerous culverts, staking and signing 50 miles of trails to standards set by OPRHP (Parks), and, of course, building/maintaining/rebuilding about a dozen bridges.

After all that is done, when the snow comes, we fire up the groomers to pack
a smooth and durable trail, always keeping in mind that this trail system depends on all snowmobilers to be good stewards of the land and the trails which only exist by permission of volunteer landowners. So when thanking all the hard-working club volunteers who do the work pictured above,
always remember the Number One Volunteer: Our Landowners!!

--- Flashback to 2009 ---
Graves Road Bridge Project
Corridor 4K to Redfield
We need to recognize all those, in addition to T.C. Riders, who made this project possible:
John Singer of Empire Metal Fabricators for assistance with beams and galvanizing.
Barry Kirch of KJR Contracting for assistance with abutment blocks and old bridge removal.
Jim Stace of Stace Trucking for expert equipment operation (on short notice).
NYS DEC, Region 6, for cooperation with permits for installation of the new bridge.
Long Island Sno-Seekers
(Go to L.I. Sno-Seekers website) for generous financial support.
Numerous Volunteers who give countless hours to all the many trail projects.

John Singer picked up the beams at the galvanizers Friday Sept, 18.  We dumped them off the trailer on the north side of the old bridge.

Early Saturday morning we removed the old bridge and dragged it up to an old log landing. Thanks to Barry Kirch for this impressive equipment that made the job easy.

Many hands made removing the center pier go quickly.  We rebuilt the old abutments as required, using the remainder of the rocks to ballast the stream bank.  (Note that not everybody was working hard.)

Digging the trenches for the new concrete abutment blocks went quickly with the backhoe. Original plans were to use a trackhoe for the site work.  That plan started to unravel on Monday with work scheduled for Saturday.  With some scrambling and a critical phone call or two, Jim Stace saved the day with his big New Holland that actually was much better suited to the task.   Jim's artful work with equipment is well-known.

The abutment blocks are set in stone.  This stone is going into the south abutment trench.

Setting the first of the two abutment blocks, north side.  First, Barry Kirch and crew leveled the stone in the trench using a laser level.

Once the abutments were set, John Singer and crew assembled the bridge beams. 

Bridge frame assembled and ready to be brought across to the south abutment.

The versatility of the New Holland equipment is seen here as it draws the bridge frame across the stream.  It carried blocks, dug trenches, carried buckets of stone, smoothed out the landscape, and put the bridge into position.

Final positioning of the bridge frame on the abutment blocks, south side.

Once the bridge frame was set, lag bolts were were installed in the north abutment.  The south end of the bridge will "float" to allow for expansion and contraction.

Bridge in position - view from downstream.

Looking north.   A good day's work!

We removed all debris and old bridge parts.  To fit the old bridge on Barry's truck, we cut it in half.  We'll save it.  Hey! Ya never know!

Here are the pictures of the final bridge construction, Saturday, October 3rd.  Fortunately we got a break in the rain and it even warmed up.

First task was to complete the decking. 

Next was cutting out the posts.  Bill Geist's big chop saw did the job.

Two carriage bolts hold the lower 4x4 cleats and two more hold the 4x4 posts.  Solid.

Lots more boring and lots more bolts and the rails were on.

Three consectutive Saturdays of work, and . . .  Voila!  Instant bridge!   Now Mom, Dad, and the Kids can ride from Redfield to Florence with the convenience of a wide, groomed trail over the bridge rather than deep moguls as high as the bridge rails.


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