Bridge Footings Survey
May 17, 2013
Friday, May 17th, we took another step towards completing the bridge.  A surveyor, a Department of Fish and Wildlife representative and a contractor came to Camp El-O-Win.

The surveyor from BedRock Engineering Inc. took measurements to map the area where the bridge supports will be placed.  After the map is complete, the structural engineer will complete the footing design.  When the footing design is complete (this fall) we will be ready to pull a Fresno County permit for construction.

With everyone's continued fund raising support, we will be ready for construction in July 2014.

The pictures show how the survey was done with just one surveyor and a very cool tool.  The yellow tripod has a laser and a wireless communication antennae.  The surveyor has a pole with a prism on top and a recording device.  The surveyor stands where he needs a measurement and sends a signal to the laser.  The laser unit then finds him, sends a laser beam to the prism and sends a measurement to the recording device.  The measurement information tells the device where it is in relation to the yellow tripod and includes an angle (a compass bearing), distance and height.  To measure the other side of the river, Chase (the surveyor) put on his waders and walked across the river.  The measurement points are downloaded into mapping software on his computer and the result is a topographical map.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife representative made a site visit as part of the permitting process.  After submitting the footing designs, we will receive a permit with instructions stating how to protect the river and the plants and animals on the river bank during construction.  A biological survey (by a qualified biologist) will be done next May or June to determine wildlife living near the construction area.  What is found (like nesting birds) will determine what actions are required.

The contractor will be assembling the bridge onsite.  After seeing the site and the challenges it poses, he says the bridge construction project can be done.  It will not be easy, but it is quite doable.  The bridge will come to the site preassembled in 4 sections.  The longest section will be 45-50 feet long (quite a drive from the valley).  Equipment will carry the sections into the river bottom, lift them into place and hold them there while workers attach them to the footings and each other.