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.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Encampment River Bridge Repaired.

Encampment River Bridge
Encampment River Bridge before repairs (photo by JHY)

by JHY with information from the "hiker" egroup

When my hiking buddy, Marie, and I crossed the Encampment River bridge (Superior Hiking Trail, MN, just north of Two Harbors) in August of 2009, I happened to be a bit ahead. Noticing that it was an odd bridge, with the steep, cleated ramp at one end, I ventured off the trail to take some pictures. I quickly discovered that it was a bridge in need of serious repair! Notice that almost all of the supports in the middle of the span are broken or missing.

Since Marie isn't crazy about dangerous passages, I simply didn't point out the situation till we were well across the span and had clambered up the ramp!

Another hiker coming from the opposite direction has said "The "stairs" down the west bank to the bridge over the Encampment River are functional, but terrifying..."

The SHT is a portion of the North Country Trail, which follows the north shore of Lake Superior.

Encampment River Bridge
Encampment River Bridge after repairs (photo by Kim Fishburn)
But, thanks to some great work by volunteers, the bridge is repaired, at least temporarily. On the weekend of October 16-18, over 20 people arrived to help. The work was supervised by Han Taylor of North Shore Trail Maintenance.

The project involved hauling in heavy materials about 150 yards from a private driveway, building and placing the stairway anchored to heavy cables on the south side of the bridge, hoisting the bridge up using a come-a-long and cables, re-building the crib out of 6” x 6” timbers, resetting the bridge, and building a ramp on the north side of the bridge.

By comparing the two pictures, you can easily see that the supports have been restored.

The banks were found to be extremely prone to slumping, and it took extra time to do the repairs. The final conclusion is that this bridge must only be considered temporary, and a suspension bridge will probably be the permanent solution. Meanwhile, hikers can safely cross the Encampment River, with confidence.

This segment is on SHTA map 01

See Superior Hiking Trail Association
See hiker egroup

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