Bridge in the Forest

Our forest has around 10 acres of bottom land along the Zumbro River. That bottom land also has a creek running through it. Because of two ridges on opposite sides of the creek I have to have two bridges to get to the section along the Zumbro River. In June of 2019 we had a huge flood that damaged our second bridge. Here is the link to my post about the flood. This post is about how I built a bridge strong enough to hold a side by side UTV.

Bridge site with holes dug for foundation.

Because this area will flood again I chose a lower area and then will put a lot of large stones in to protect the foundations.

Two foot deep footing/foundation

I dug 4 holes and pounded limestone road rock at the bottom and then cement block. I pounded rebar and steel angle iron into the ground then filled the cement block with concrete.

Building one of the beams

I built two 20 foot beams on site. I used treated 2×8’s and treated 3/4 inch plywood. I staggered the joints of the 10 foot 2×8’s and sandwiched the plywood in between. The above photo shows the glue used with the plywood.

One side of the beam with plywood glued and screwed on.

The above photo shows two 10 foot 2×8’s with the 3/4 inch plywood glued and screwed onto them. Next I will glue and screw two 5 foot 2×8’s and one 10 foot 2×8.

One of the finished beams

The above picture shows the finished 20 foot beam. I made two of these.

One beam across the creek

I needed assistance to get the beam in place across the creek. Thanks to Luke, Amanda, and Craig for the help. Then made the second beam.

Both beams in place

With both beams in place I did some additional leveling and then cemented in the steel and screwed the steel to the beams. Note the slope of the banks in this photo. I had to do earth work to make a slope which I could place stone on.

The start of erosion control

We are fortunate to live only two miles from a very large limestone quarry. I had a full truck load of what they call rip rap delivered to our property. I have a Kubota MX 5300 tractor with a bucket which can haul the big stones down to the creek. So the picture above shows the start of the rip rap on the far bank. These stones had to be loaded into my Yamaha Viking and taken across the old crooked bridge and then lifted by hand onto the landscape fabric. A slow hard part of the job.

Almost done on the far side

The photo above shows the far side bank rip rap almost completed. I need to build a framework for supporting the middle of the top planks so I am waiting to put in stone until that is completed.

Almost ready to put decking on

The picture above is the almost completed rip rap with the center support system in place. You can also see I placed more rock on the upstream side of the creek than on the down stream side.

Far side done

The photo above shows the rip rap on the far side of the creek. Ready to put 8 foot 2×8 treated decking on.

Completed deck

Finally, after about 8-10 days of work the bridge is complete. As you can see it supports a static load of a 2017 Yamaha Viking side by side. This bridge will also work great to take my big zero turn mower across to keep weeds down around my newly planted trees.

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