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Rose Water Crossing

Sycamore creek is seasonal - usually dry summer thru fall - but it varies year to year depending on the rainfall pattern and resultant ground water table. Nevertheless, the bank of the creek on the far side has a solid rock ledge outcropping, making the opposite side inacessible by our golf cart and tractor even when the creek is dry.

We needed a way to get small construction equipment and utilities to the other side of the creek for construction of Loretta's Rose Cottage and Garden. So we chose a location just inside the property line where it crosses the creek. Reggie helped select the location for the support columns.  

Breaking ground on low water crossing
Breaking ground on low water crossing

We used 8-inch tubular forms filled with wire remesh and concrete to make the columns. We set six foot lengths of 2-3/8" 4.60 lb/ft oilfield tubing in grooves atop the columns before the concrete cured to make the cross beam supports. The creek-bed here is about 30 ft across. The crossing will be eight feet wide.

Support columns and cross beams
Support columns and cross beams

For the under-decking we used four twelve foot lengths of corrugated galvanized sheets arched over the cross beams and held down and anchored on both ends temporarily with boulders. Over this and held down with the random boulders is the first layer of wire remesh.

corrugated sheet deck
Corrugated sheet deck

Loretta mixed the concrete for the initial pour in the front end loader of the tractor, and then later, using a small electric cement mixer, two sacks at a time. The thickness of the pour is about 1-1/2 to 2 inches.

Starting the first pour
Starting the first pour

After the first pour was completed, we used fill dirt and gravel from the creek bed to build up the base of the crossing beyond the under-flow arch.

Completing the first pour
Completing the first pour

Over the first arched under-layer and extending over the adjacent gravel fill, we put another layer of wire remesh from one side of the creek to the other. Then we layed two 16ft., 14 gage C -channel beams flat and poured them with concrete. Notice that Loretta is always the one to take the photo breaks.

Pouring the internal C-channel beams
Pouring the internal C-channel beams

We drilled holes into the concrete beams in order to accept the ends of the five foot long #5 rebar cross-beams. We put the rebar on 16-inch intervals. We also layed down the section of 1-inch pvc water line that will be buried within the concrete. Then the concrete beams were set up on their sides and the rebar was inserted into the holes in the beams.

Drilling the beams for the cross-beam rebar
Drilling the beams for the cross-beam rebar

Over the top we then set a third layer of wire remesh and tied it down to the concrete and rebar beams. Along both sides we folded 6 inches of the remesh down and tied to the second layer of remesh. Then came the gruelling task of filling the structure with boulders, gravel, and concrete. Loretta has had a lot of experience filling and hauling five gallon bucket loads of gravel. Here, Loretta wets down the filled wire form before pouring the concrete. Total concrete sack count was about 120.

Wire and internal beam structure
Wire and internal beam structure
Loretta wets it down before pouring concrete

A week of curing and then it was time for the test! Well, as you can see from the tracks in this shot, this wasn't the christening trip, but it was the first one with a load of top soil in the bucket. The height of the crossing will allow a few inches of water to flow over it so that only the ramps on the ends will be visible above the water line.

Maiden voyage - the test of faith
Christening crossing - the test of faith

Next Project - Rose Garden Construction

Rainbarn Construction

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