Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cherry Run Suspension Bridge

Cherry Run suspension bridge
Cherry Run suspension bridge, Pennsylvania
condensed from the North Star, the magazine of the North Country Trail Association, by Karen Klos

The Baker Trail carries the North Country Trail southward from Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, and there has always been a need for a bridge across Cherry Run near Crooked Creek Lake. Previously the trail went right through the creek, normally about a foot deep, and sometimes flooding to over six! Two other bridges had been located here, but each was washed out by hurricane waters. This new suspension bridge is six feet higher, and flexible.

The bridge was designed and built by Keith Klos, President of the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the NCTA. Keith constructed the bridge at home, and then transported the pieces to the site. The upright posts were set in concrete on June 14, 2008. In July the cables were installed. 235 bags of Sackrete were used for the foundation. Four strands of 5/8" cable were strung between the posts with the anchor points 20 feet behind the posts. On August 2, the decking sections were hoisted and set into place using a trolley strung on an overhead cable.

Cherry Run suspension bridge
stairs to the bridge surface
U-bolts were used to secure the decking to the lower cables. 36 support cables were then strung to the upper 5/8" cables. On August 3, railings were bolted to these support cables with a top handrail, a middle rail, and bottom kick rail.

The bridge was funded by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy and the work performed by a network of volunteers from the Baker Trail, North Country Trail and Butler Outdoor Club, totaling over 500 hours. The bridge is on US Army Corps of Engineers land, and their permission was easily secured for the project.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

What a great bridge

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks Cactus Jack- It's really exciting when projects like that are completed. When that creek is raging it effectively closed the trail before there was a high bridge, because you just couldn't get across safely.