May 11-15 Montgomery County Boardwalking Bliss

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Project Gallery on May. 30, 2010 - 12:13 pm

Over a year ago S&S Trails flagged out a nature trail for the proposed Spring Creek Nature Center off of Riley Fuzzel Road near Old Town Spring. Our long-time project partner Robert Collins from Montgomery County Precinct 3 originally hired us for the trail design, and has kept us posted on the development of the nature center and the related construction projects on the property. When we first flagged out the trail we were working around numerous survey lines and clearing boundaries in the woods and we knew that extensive land grading and building construction was going to occur on the property. We proposed, and Robert agreed, that it would make sense for us to hold off on our trail construction until the major clearing on the property was completed and the building was started, so that A) we wouldn’t be in the way of other contractors and B) any work we did wouldn’t get bulldozed by those other contractors in the course of getting their own projects done.

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Fast forward to the present, and Robert let us know that most of the site work had been completed and we could come in to do our part of the project. Robert is a Boy Scout Master himself and does a lot of community work with the Scouts, so he had worked it out that a local Scout would build the trail as one of his projects, but one very significant component would be left to the professionals of S&S Trails—construction of a 65 foot long boardwalk through a low-lying and often marshy area.

After determining the start and end points of the boardwalk, we measured and staked out where we wanted the support posts to go. There were 27 of them at the end of the layout stage! It was important that the structure be very sturdy, as Robert had requested that it be able to accommodate the new 6-foot wide Trail Gator (ATV) that the county would be purchasing to do patrols in the park. Therefore to provide a little clearance on either side of the Gator, the decking was planned to be 8 feet wide.

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We had reserved an auger attachment at Sunbelt Rentals that we could put on the front of our Ditch Witch to dig the post holes, so we went to pick that up and then coordinated with the county for the delivery of the lumber for the project and the sac-crete to cement in the support posts. Our assistant Chuck helped us with the project, and once the three of us got into a rhythm, the assembly of the boardwalk went pretty quickly. The decking had a nice sweeping curve in it that was pleasing to the eye, and upon completion Robert came out to examine our work and stated that he was very happy with how it turned out.

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We finished the project late on Friday and still had a little time left over that we could dedicate to some projects for the county, so with Robert’s suggestion we went to Flintridge to ride the trails and look for any maintenance that needed to be completed. Everything looked in pretty good shape, except for a downed tree on the back side of the loop that needed removal. Ryan and Susan went out with the chainsaw on Saturday morning to take care of that log, and then drove back to Austin for a brief weekend. Robert informed us that the county would still like to hire us for maintenance work in the future, so when we return from our summer work in the northwest we will schedule to go work for him as soon as possible.