I finally got around to tearing out the old bridge across the little ditch behind the house. The bridge gives easy access to the woods, but had been in very bad state of repair ever since we bought the house and probably way before too.
This is the perfect time of year to work on a project like that: the ditch is dry, since the ground water level is way down. Also, there are no mosquitoes and the temperature is bearable, not too hot and not too cold.
Tearing out the old bridge was not much of a problem, didn’t take more than 10 minutes. At first, I thought of using the wood from the old deck in the wood stove, but on second thought I decided to take it to the dump as it was just too deteriorated to burn properly. They will actually recycle it into wood chips for ground cover.
First I dug four holes for the piers, placed them and attached cross members for strength. Then I backfilled around the posts with concrete.
Let sit for a day or two, then, after measuring carefully, I cut the pier tops to the proper height. Since sawing a 4”x4” piece of lumber horizontally is a bit tricky, I employed pieces of scrap lumber as guides, which worked perfectly.
I actually used a hand saw, something I hadn’t used in a long time. I had trouble finding it.
Next came attaching the bridge girders. They are seated on the each ‘shore’ in a bed of crushed gravel, unattached, in case they need to be raised on lowered in the future.
Then came installation of the deck. I precut the deck members back by the house, as running power tools on a 200 ft (65 m) extension cord is never the best of things to do. However, I did use one of my power drills to drive the screws through the members into the girders. It got mighty hot.
Backfilling the approaches to meet the deck was the last step involved. All done. Now I can drive my lawn tractor across and drag firewood logs back to the house for cut up.