Last week’s crew knocked over the bulk of the bridges, leaving only Rifle Range and Winters Flat Bridge.
Most of the piles at Rifle Range requires drilling, which was a good test for our brand new cordless drill. Which were very impressed with, certainly easy to control and much quieter than a petrol job.
Once drilled the holes are filled and capped to help preserve the piles.
Once at Winters Flat we developed a system of giving a little spray to indicate that it had been completed, as we only had to remove old plugs and renew, rather than drill new holes.
We’re almost exactly half way through Winters Flat, with another day required to knock it over. Thankfully, during all our works so far, we’ve found no evidence of termites at all, indicating the treatment is working.
There won’t be a workday tomorrow, instead we’ll be running trucks and equipment to Newport in readiness for next week. We’ll be working everyday next week at Newport Workshops, starting around 8am.
Well anti-termites really. Today was about installing and renewing the chemical stick termite treatment into Muckleford Creek Bridge.
It’s quite a simple process, whereby a few small holes are drilled into each pile, as many sticks as can be shoved down the hole are and a plastic plug is installed to keep them dry and in place.
The chemical rods, are just a formulated mix of boron and fluoride, which as moisture is absorbed by the pile, causes the rods to slowly dissolve and permeate into the wood, making it very undesirable to termites and fungal growths.
They only need renewing about every 10-15 years. It’s a very cheap insurance policy to keep the bridges in good condition, as termite damage can quickly destroy enough of a bridge to make it unusable.
Tomorrow will be a bit more of the same, as there’s 5 other bridges that are due the same treatment! Meeting at Maldon at 8am.
Today saw lots of odd bridge jobs, the first of which was bolting up the angle brackets for yesterday’s crosshead.
Just a few simple holes and bolts and job done!
Then we went onto installing some missing shoulder packing. The first being at Farmers Bridge. The props are to ensure the crosshead is sitting exactly where it should be before installing the packing.
We had a few of these to do here.
While there it was a good chance to do a complete bolt tighten.
Another bit of packing was required at Winters Flat, with lots of ground level bolt tightening also undertaken.
We finished off the day by doing a thorough ground level bolt tighten of Rifle Range Bridge. Leaving only Sawmill Rd, Walmer Rd and Muckleford Creek for Tuesday’s Gang. Check back Monday for details of Tuesday’s Meeting Point.
Earlier this week, the replacement pile for 28L was prepared and the old pile excavated ready for a changeover today.
Before long the old was out and we were about ready to put the new in.
A little fine tune was required on one shoulder, but nothing major. The photos make it appear the bridge is floating in mid air, however some heavy duty props are just out of sight doing all the work.
Termite protection was installed around the base of both this pile and last week’s pile, to help slow down any unwelcome visitors. We don’t have a massive termite problem, but we could if we don’t keep on top of the treatment.
Once backfilled and tidied up it looked quite presentable.
Once a few holes were drilled, bolts installed and a benchmark had been completed it was job done!
The next job was the replacement of another failed crosshead, 24D (the down side crosshead of the 24th pier). Although not technically failed yet, it’s days were numbered, so we did the exchange.
The heavy lifting is all done with the digger, however the hardest part is getting the old bolts out, which was probably the longest part of this job.
We’re not quite finished fastening this crosshead up, so that’ll be tomorrow morning’s job. Meeting at Muckleford Creek Bridge from 8.30am.