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Bridge Over Troubled Water....

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Rembrandt, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Armored farmer, didn't want to hi-jack the butcher shop thread.....tell me about/how you built your bridge? Does the water flow over it all year long? I have a river running thru my place that is a constant maintenance headache, currently using large rock and broken concrete to stem erosion. Most of the time we can get ATV's thru. A bit of a challenge during hunting season. When water levels are high we use a cable/chairlift system to get across.

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  2. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Normal low water flows through two 1000gal steel tanks with the ends removed.
    when the river raises above normal, it goes over the concrete pad I poured over the tanks.
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    My family has maintained a bridge here for six generations now, since my oldest help me build this one. It is a constant responsibility to keep logs from jamming and erosion around the ends.
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    We use the bridge to access and maintain over 60 acres of hunting property.
    20170627_155906.jpg the bridge is about exactly 1 mile from my back door.
    It's a good deal of work and expense....but it's a labor of love.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  3. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I have to say, that looks like a good problem to have, Rembrandt. Just beautiful!
     
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    While my son and I funded and poured concrete and placed the 1000 gal steel anhydrous tank sections in the channel, it bothers me to say that I built the bridge.
    The approaches were there. The roadway was there, the abuttments were in place.
    The power of the flooded river is enormous. It had ripped the wooden runners and deck off of its piers many times. I had helped replace the decking many times. When we stopped farming the bottom land, the bridge was abandoned.
    I consulted with a friend in the concrete business and developed a new plan for a concrete low water crossing.
    He boldly positioned is backhoe midstream during low water and dug out the center pier to make room for two anhydrous tanks to be placed side by side. I made crude plywood forms for the width of the bridge, and we poured 5 inches of reinforced concrete deck over the top. The money spent was considerable, but the rewards are still proving priceless to me.
    This bridge has proven to be a center of recreation for my whole family.
    I have to bite my lip sometimes when I see trespassers, hear gunshots, or atvs coming from our property. I know those people have no idea who built and funded the bridge or who owns the property that they have been enjoying.
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    I will gaurantee you...if you build it, they will come. It will be frustrating.
     
  5. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    This is the high maintenance crossing I'm looking to improve. Banks are sloped with some rock so we can drive equipment and get cattle across. When the river gets out of its banks and recedes, soil silts back in and we have to regrade it. Photo was taken after a 4" rain that went out of its banks.

    Concrete seems the only thing that would keep the banks stabilized, but it's going to cost. We've been able to build bridges over the smaller ravines using power line poles and planks... afraid the river crossing is too long a span.

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    Some of the smaller bridges we've built for the ATV's.
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    I've got a pretty good bridge building crew that enjoys these projects. Longest span using power line poles has been around 40 feet.

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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Oh yeah, I see that you are already in the bridge business! That's a good-looking crew.
    Yes we deal with silting issues too. The truth is I leave it sometimes for a while. Our property has a dirt lane that is easily accessed by the public. I have pulled a minivan out on opening day of deer season, and waded out to retrieve an atv that was swept off the bridge.
    That larger crossing looks like it would need a center pier if not two to span with wood. I'm sure you could hire a pile driver to set them, but it would need to be a significant structure to cross with a tractor.
    The low water crossing is ideal for us. Our smallish river floods with powerful force and reaches extremely high levels. I span structure was out of the question. Concrete is the only solution.
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  7. ShootAgain

    ShootAgain Member

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  8. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    My son built a bridge using a 40' Flatrack High Cube / 40' Platform. Basically it is a 40 ft container without walls and roof. I supposed they are for shipping vehicles and such. He placed it over a large drainage canal with a rented excavator and regularly drives 100hp tractor over it. it has no railing but that could be added if necessary.

    Bull
     
  9. film495

    film495 Member

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    if you have heavy equipment, just to throw at some out of the box ideas at you. you can manipulate the water flow, to make the pass easier. if you give the water somewhere to go - it will either be slower, or not rise as much. possibly widen the area there where the water passes and divide the flow up into 2 wider and deeper channels with an island half way in the middle. possibly also add an overflow up stream, and make a channel with a smaller crossing that connects again downstream below your bridge. another approach, would obviously be to add fill or other material, maybe a couple concrete raised landings on each side, and construct a raised bridge to span the gap.
     
  10. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Considered putting in an old semi flatbed, never thought about rail car flat beds before. That option is appealing with 60-to-80'+ lengths....but....$15K-to-$25K, not including transporting and getting it installed probably won't work.

    That makes Armored farmers concrete crossing look more plausible. Appreciate the ideas and everyone's suggestions.
     
  11. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    The worst problem with my bridge is the fact the the river floods most in spring and fall.(Turkey season/deer season). There is another bridge 2 miles downstream. That makes a 7mile trip to access our property that's one mile away.
     
  12. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Armored Farmer, wanted to post an update and thank you for the information concerning how you constructed your water crossing. This year was a drought and river levels were almost to a trickle. Seized on that opportunity to get our crossing built in time for hunting season.

    Excavated a couple of troughs and dropped in some culverts. Afraid to go too large or the overall height would get too high. Packed it with rock and old concrete slabs, then poured a couple of truck loads of a concrete slurry mix over the top to hold everything in place. It's an interesting technique that our local counties use for their crossings. Concrete and rock hold the tubes in place, if the water rises over the top the slurry mix keeps the rock from washing away.

    Now we can get ATV's and pickups across to haul back all those deer carcasses. Thanks for the ideas. :thumbup:

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  13. MTNSTRYDER

    MTNSTRYDER Member

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    To all of the people who built the bridges I’v crossed in my life A very heartfelt thank You.
     
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  14. mokin

    mokin Member

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    This is very cool. I wanted to reenlist for engineers when I was active duty but the consensus from higher up was that I was too good at supply....

    Out here we just wait a couple of days until the water goes down and we drive across on dry ground.
     
  15. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I spent about $7k building and many hours maintaining this bridge. It is one of my favorite places to be.
     

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  16. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    About what I've got in mine......Oh the things I could do with a Cat and an excavator. :D
     
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