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Up & Down Disaster Bridge
High water each spring used to wipe out the bridge across the 20-ft. creek on Harold Smith's farm near North Jackson, Ohio. He finally solved the problem with a floating "disaster" bridge that lifts off its pilings at high water but later settles back into place.
"The bridge is 10 ft. wide and 24 ft. long and was built to span the normal width of the stream. Spring floods increase the width to 100 ft.," says Smith who built the bridge out of three 10 by 24-ft. treated white oak cross beams covered by a 2-in. plank deck. (He says he'd add a fourth cross beam for added strength if he did it again.) When at rest the ends of the bridge rest on poured concrete "pylons".
At high water, the bridge is held in place by four 10-in. dia.wood posts one at each corner sunk deep in the ground. "The length of the corner posts is governed by the water depth at flood stage but it's important that the bridge be able to slide freely up and down," explains Smith. Planks are notched at each corner to hold snugly to the posts.
Smith, who operates a tree farm, says the bridge had to be strong to bear the weight of trucks loaded with wood. "I built it from wood from my woodland area so my only cost was the custom sawing of the 2 by 10-in. decking, the cost of wood preservative, and the cement," says Smith.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold L. Smith, 1831 N. Newton Falls, North Jackson, Ohio 44451 (ph 216 538-3717).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #2