Well when I put in the trellis for the old trumpet vine that was growing on the side of the house I did not take in to account the 500 pound chunks of ice that slide off the roof. So my trellis has taken a beating over the lasts three years. I need to add in some more supports and double the cross members. Another $100 in pressure treated wood and at least one day maybe two. Definitely going to wait on this one until it warms up. No super rush on this, I figure another big snow storm will be the death of the left side. The trumpet vine is ancient. We are guessing, but at least 40-50 years old. It looks great in full bloom when you are looking out the dining room window.
So I have started to gather facts and am brainstorming the new bridge. The fact that we need one is a foregone conclusion. We had to submit a picture of our new siding to the insurance company early last year, so we just used one we had laying around. They called back immediately and asked if there was another way to get to the house or was that bridge the only access. I reassured them that we had a second bridge (worse than the one pictured) or we could drive through the field and walk in our side yard gate (doable in a pickup). So it was on the list to be fixed but these last two Winters have just escalated the damage. I suspect the daily use is exposing the rot and disrepair that has been there for years.
Annmarie found a nice arched bridge design made out of wood. I want something that will last 50 years so we don’t have to redo the bridge when we are in our 70s. So that pretty much leaves us with a culvert and gravel walkway. I wanted to put in a 8 foot culvert last year for volume in case the back creek diverts (it did three years ago because the creek was allowed to dam up with tumbleweeds). I have since decided that a 6 foot culvert would work. I decided that some actual measurements might be in order. The bridge is 34 feet long when only measuring the wooden portion. It is four feet wide. Now it is only 6 feet to the water surface from the walking surface of the bridge. It is 6.5 feet to the creek bottom. Obviously, that 6 foot culvert I want to use is not going to work. We want to put used bricks down like pavers to use as a walking surface. We are going to have cedar posts about every 6 feet with hog wire panels between them. I know it doesn’t sound very pretty when I say it that way. But, we saw quite a few of these fences when Annmarie was living in Bellingham and they look good. I am going to put in a 10 foot long, 4 foot high culvert. I will ramp the gravel (using compactor) up to 8 feet at the top. The path that you walk across will be six feet wide (two feet wider than it is now). I am even thinking about removing 2 feet of the chain link fence and adding a new gate. But that will be the last thing I do after the bridge is finished. Pricing culvert is the next step. As an added bonus, there used to be a bridge in the barn lot. The ramps are both in place and I am going to install a piece of culvert there also and back fill it in with gravel. That way we don’t have to keep driving through the water to get to the other side.
I am going to add one more outside light next to the yard fence on the far corner of the bridge. The lights come on automatically when it gets dark so you can find your way to the front door.