February 25, 2019 was not a good day for our suspension bridge. A snowstorm hit that weekend with 8-12 inches of wet, heavy snow, and trees started falling everywhere. Power was out all over the state, including here (which isn’t that unusual given our rural location). But alas, one big alder tree snapped and landed on one of the bridge posts, breaking it in half. Here’s what we were faced with when we cleared out the mess on the our side:
The cable-locking system held up as did all the stringers. We can’t see the other end of the main cable but assume it is also okay. Just nothing there to hold it up anymore!
Since the creek is still too high/freezing cold to cross, we can’t easily assess all the damage. But the bridge is “hanging in there” until help can arrive. Hopefully our spring won’t need any maintenance in the meantime.
Once we cut away the mess, we’ll need to dig out the old post (three feet), get another post across the creek and in place, tamped in with gravel, and then all the hardware re-attached. The decking will have to be removed so the structure can be lifted up more easily. As for the dead man, we’ll have to find out how it fared the blow.
You can see the tree that did the deed just uphill from the bridge. Nice aim, tree!
Ah well, it was time to replace the decking anyway. We’re looking for metal paneling of some kind (that we can afford). I’ll post photos of the fix later in the spring! Onward. P.S.: We’re getting too old for this sh*t.
UPDATE: So far we replaced the post, reattached the main cable and cranked the bridge back into place. You can see how those things happened here and here. We also built new new sets of stairs, and how to do that is here and also is a featured Instructable.