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Bigblue

A Trail to the Future

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Several months ago some people apeared at my doorstep and wanted to speak with me about a trail construction project. They aparently had "heard" that I had done some in the past and were interested in whether I would join the Louisbourg Coastal Connections Trail Committee.

So, to make a lonnnnng story short, I joined up and was immediately set to task as part of the Steering Comittee responsible (amongst other things) to hire a work crew and oversee the design and content of interpretive - historic, natural, ecological and cultural - signage for this trail.

 

After more than 40 resumes, 20 interviews and innumerable phone calls and meetings, I had a Project Manager, Foreman, Lead Hand, and 4/5 labourers, as well as 2 professionals from the Parks Canada trail construction crew. With a budget of $210,000.00 and a two-phaze construction plan (Fall and Spring), we set about building this 2.45 kilometer trail to the specifications outlined in the Evvironmental Assessmant, and Constructions Guidelines drawn up by Parks Canada. This Fall's phaze is 10-12 weeks and will hopefully complete 1.2 k of the total distance.

 

The trail will eventually run the length of the Fortress Louisbourg/Parks Canada land from the Louisbourg Lighthouse to a point on the shoreline that is 1/4 mile in back of our house here. The route will parallel the rugged and scenic shoreline and pass through three large boggy areas (actually classified as a "fens"), one huge rocky outcrop, and several dense forested areas. Boardwalk sections over these bogs will seperate sections of rock and crushed stone tread and include 5 (possibly more) rest areas with benches. There will also be two side paths leading to high points of land where scenic views can be appreciated by the public. 

 

We are now 6 weeks away from the completion of phaze #1. Here are some of the in-progress photos:

 

Looking towards the start of the trail at the lighthouse across the first boggy section. This section shows the trail filled 30cm deep (down to bedrock or mineral soil) with large grade stone. It has yet to be carefully "crowned" and will be topped with a 5cm layer of fine "crusher dust". It will also have a 6-inch wide drainage trench cut along each side. Running crossways below the pathway are several drainage channels filled with large rocks to allow the groundwater to flow freely through the sloping boggy area to the shoreline:

img0254bq8.jpg

 

Thru the first wooded section. The path's tread is designed to be 4 feet wide with a forest cut of 2 feet on either side:

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Beginnings of construction across the second boggy section. The trampled bog will rebound nicely in abaout 1 year's time and should show no sign of construction damage:

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Large rock-filled trench to be used as a footing for the floating cross-beams of the boardwalk. These are designed to allow the natural flow of water through the bog peat:

img0252iy6.jpg

 

Nearly completed boardwalk made from specially treated Hemlock. The surface will have a 2x2 "wheel stop" running along each side. The people in this shot are some of the other committee members.

img0286uy0.jpg

 

Tonight's dinner?:

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Thru the next wooded section. This path is to be cut down to mineral soil then to be filled with two grades of stone and topped with "crusher dust".

img0248hn1.jpg

 

View of the lighthouse from about halfway thru the 1st phaze section:

img0250rn6.jpg

 

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Looks nicely done.

 

Are those cedar planks?  I've often wished that the recycled plastic timbers weren't so expensive.  I'd love to see how long they'd last in an application like this.

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Bigblue, this is amazing.  What a talented and industrious man you are!  I think you need to have twenty children so they can help you with your projects! :woot:

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Nurk - No, We are using Hemlock planks that have been specially treated to withstand the ravages of time. The treatment has no cyanide unlike common "pressure treated" wood found in lumber stores. Hemlock is naturally resistant to wet rot and insects, but this process further preserves rthe wood from this VERY harsh climate.

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Holly - They should last 25 years. We are using ACQ (Alkaline copper quaternary) treated Hemlock. Each board has been custom cut to length then treated for 20 days prior to shipping to us. Its an expensive process but the Park service demanded we use this product.

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We can get foundation-grade that's supposed to be warranted for 40 years.  I think 25 will be conservative.  I bet your hemlock will last longer.  I've got 18 year old pressure treated 2 x 4's and landscape timbers (the cheap stuff) that's just now starting to go.  Not all of them, but just some that maybe didn't get treated as well.

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We've had years though when you start to wonder when you are going to see the sun again.  In Indiana, you can have damp weather that never seems to end.  It's a good point though that different areas will have differing requirements.  I guess they do have a pressure treated that is rated for saltwater exposure...it's got like 4 times as much in as the foundation grade.  I'm bettin' that stuff's expensive.

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Whatever kind of video format that is, I can't play it.  Don't worry though, I'm used to not being able to play video...I'm on a dialup.

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Big Blue, So has phase 2 begun on the trail yet? It looks like its going to be a nice trail to hike. Scenery looks great. :thumbup:

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