Creek Crossing: (or the lack of it)
This is a picture of our original Texas crossing. Looks great doesn't it! Simple strip of concrete lying in the low spot of the crossing and allows water to flow over it when it really rains. Basic and simple that's what we want. July 1999
July 2001
Here is the site we saw as we attempted to drive onto our property last year. We had planned to camp on the home site and take in the view of the mountains every minute of our camping stay. Instead we hand carried everything up the first hill and set up camp. Disappointed - YES!
Before leaving we contracted to add a four foot culvert and more concrete. That ought to handle just about any amount of water - after all the creek only has water in it when it rains. Sounds like it should be pretty tranquil. Finished in 2001
2002 July
Returning this year we found more destruction. Mother nature did not agree! There is a tunnel cut by the water so large that an adult can crawl into right next to the culvert!
October 2002 - Now we are going to fight back!

OK Here is our next attempt to fix this crossing!

Check out the railroad car we now own! Will have the tall ends cut off before delivery to our property.

We will post construction progress as it happens so stay tuned.

Check out the weight limit! I think we can take just about anything across this once its in place as a bridge! Hopefully Mother Nature can't move it either!
Check back here for progress of the construction process.

Preparations for the new entrance for the bridge. Grade across the (dry) creek to build up the road height and the height of the bridge.
The concrete has been removed from the old (useless) crossing and the 4' culvert is being pulled out. The entire area will be filled and smoothed off to allow the huge truck carrying the railroad car to pull across the creek bed. A crane or two cranes will lift the railroad flatbed off the truck and into place.
The path is clear! Crossing is removed and the bridge are has been opened in case there is a rain storm the water can pass without (hopefully) removing everything.
Digging the footings that will provide the support for the railroad car (bridge).
Final clean up in the hole. Gotta remove all the loose stuff. We are using the earth as the form (costs much less). Well maybe a little less.
The concrete must be reinforced with rebar so a cage was built and transported to the site for placement into the hole.
It must not touch the sides or bottom of the hole.
Getting it positioned correctly.
Ready for concrete! Where is that truck? It goes without saying that we did have these footings engineered so we will not face another failure again. We would not want it to sink into the ground (that would just be our luck!)
Pouring concrete. Cover it up in case of rain and wait for it to set up. After a few weeks we can bring the railroad car after having it stripped of its wheels and ends it will be placed onto each of the two footings now ready.
The footings have cured for the last month so they are ready!
Our railroad car finally arrives - man that's a short trailer! The truck got stuck on a steep hill because there was no weight on the tractor's back wheels. The contractors Ford pickup had to pull it up the hill. I guess its true - Ford is built tough.
Maybe they should have used a larger tailor!
Swinging it into position onto the footings with two cranes.
A little more this way. Just a nudge please.
OK lets get this side in place too!
The railroad car is now in place - lets call it a bridge!!!!
The railroad car (opps - bridge!) is in place and the creek is dry for now. We don't think this will budge at all, even if the creek rises. Its weight is estimated at 80,000 lb and has a weight capacity of 181,600lb. That should handle just about anything!
The rail car has a nail-able surface! It will be a little tough to drive over and not puncture a tire so they must be pulled! It took two weeks of manual labor to pull all the nails!
- Now we need to put some side railings on to avoid sliding off if it gets slippery
- Using 4x6 planks
- Routing 440 feet of railing and painting and pre-drilling the anchor bold holes
Planning is important especially since we don't have power at the bridge! We miscalculated two holes so we manually drilled 1\2" holes 6" deep through two planks using a vise grip on the bit shaft - fun!
The two side railings are installed. Now we wait for the road base to be spread out and then we can install the final end railings onto each side. Add the motion sensor and rope lights into the routed groves and it should light up like a run way. (Hope planes don't try to land on it - its a bit short for a runway)
Side railings are installed and the electrical is being installed so the bridge will be light up at night. Sure don't want to drive off it in the dark! The road base is spread out so we can now use the bridge!!
Would you believe that an ATV ran across the bridge a couple of week ago and dinged up the paint job on the far end of the railing? Better hope I'm not around if it happens again!
The final picture! Here is the bridge light up at night! Now we can find our way across the creek. Drive up and the rope lights light up the bridge deck and the railings.
Want to take a ride over the bridge?
Here are three movie clips
(best to have a high speed internet link!)
Approaching the bridge
Crossing the bridge
Up the hill!
Fall of 2003 - bridge update
Having 8.5 feet of clearance side to side seemed like enough room for even a semi trailer truck and it would have been if the approach was straight to the bridge but it wasn't built that way. Unfortunately the local garbage truck clipped on of the bolts and ripped it out.
Something has to change.
We welded extensions onto each mounting to extend the railing beyond the rail cars steel bed,
This has added about a foot additional width to the bridge and no one is complaining now!!