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Mill Creek Central Trestle Tower Construction II

Status August 18, 2006:   The concrete slab closest to the camera is the abutment at the north end of the trestle.  The  concrete had just been poured for this and for tower 1,2 and 4 foundations.   Tower 4 foundation is barely visible beyond the completed tower 3.


Status August 27, 2006: The photo shows that we've cleaned up the debris between tower 3 and the south abutment.  Cribbing has been installed at the south abutment and grading of the location of towers 5, 6 & 7 has been completed.   We'll be installing the forms for foundations 5, 6 & 7 next. 


Status August 31, 2006: The photo at right was taken looking north from the south abutment.   Note that we've formed the foundations for the last three towers, numbers 5, 6 & 7.   Expect to pour the concrete after Labor Day.


Photo below shows the tower assembly area at the back of the steaming bay.  Dick is looking over the just completed center part of towers 1, 2 & 4.   The welds have been cleaned so all we have to do is paint the weld area and then erect them.  The stack of panels will be used on towers 5, 6 & 7 after they are cleaned and painted.

Status September 5, 2006: We've erected the center square part of towers1, 2 and 4.  Photo on right shows Scott Kuhn welding the legs of tower 4 to the base channels.   We erected tower 4 using the front loader on the back hoe like we did for tower 3.  Tower 4 was more difficult because of a greater slope in the surrounding ground.

Randy Sutherland is disconnecting the strap between the back hoe bucket and tower 1 in photo below.   Tower 1 is on a steep slope so we couldn't get the backhoe next to the foundation as we did for towers 3 and 4.  However, tower 1 is only 11 feet tall so we lowered it from the north abutment.    

Tower 2 was erected next.  In that case we positioned the backhoe down slope from  the foundation and used a chain from the hoe bucket to the midpoint of the tower to stand it up.           

Note in photo below that we've added a retaining wall to the north end.  We need to pin the ties together and put some dirt below the ties closest to the camera.   

Status September 8, 2006: The photo shows that we've finished the foundations for towers 5 , 6 and 7.  The only concrete work to be done is to pour a pad on the south abutment.  Since the south abutment is fresh fill, we'll probably wait till next spring to pout that pad. 

This is the view from the north end.  Towers 1 and 3 are finished.    The side legs for towers 2 and 4 are nearly assembled.   Erection of those legs will be next.   We have a stack of painted panels ready to start assembling towers 5, 6 and 7.  

At current pace, we can expect to be walking across some of the I beams before the first snow.

Status September 21, 2006: After ten days off we're back at it.  Above photo shows that we have all the steel up for towers 1 through 4.  That is Jim Norris tightening some of the nuts on the side legs of tower 4.  We have to add the braces to towers 1, 2 and 4 and the professional welders have to finish the welding on some of the bases and the gussets at the top.   We're working on the last three towers which are shorter so the end of the tower construction is in sight. 

Status September 30, 2006: We worked really hard this week and finished the fabrication of the remaining towers.  We erected the center part of towers 5 and 6 on Friday.    What a mess --- it had rained and the hillside was slick.   We used the backhoe to transport the core of tower 6 from the top of the south  side.  Bigggggg mistake.  The backhoe slid  to the correct place to drop the tower.  We couldn't get it back up the hill and we were afraid to let it slide down the hill  --- those towers would be like bowling pins.   So --- dozer to the rescue and  it  pulled the backhoe back up the hill.   We then were able to use the backhoe to set tower 5 on the foundation using the approach from the bottom through the mud hole pictured above.    We then tried to use the dozer to move tower 6 up the hill slightly and buried it (the dozer).    The backhoe and a long cable came to the rescue.  

On Saturday we tried a different approach to transport the side legs for tower 5 ---- the Kubota tractor pictured above.  It has 4 wheel drive which helps some.  Note that the dozer and backhoe are taking a rest.  Yes, the Kubota smokes a bit. 

We build the Jin-pole like device pictured on right to hoist the tower sides into position. The pole bolts to the tower cross angles  through existing holes.  The lower bolt can be repositioned to swing the top to the other side.  There is a small manual wench mounted on the pole. It worked quite well.  This was a test.  We now plan to build a second one and use the pair to hoist the beams.

Note that the tower side is a few inches above the top of the core.  That's because the engineer made a minor error in calculating the height of the side. Too tall is easy to fix ---- just cut off the bottom of the legs.   We did that using a portable band saw while the side was hanging from the core as pictured. 


Dick is sitting down on the job to adjust the base plates under the side legs.  The tarp is a futile attempt to keep dry and clean.    The band saw is in the red box setting on the stump in the background.  The saw was powered by the generator  beside the stump. 

This is the Status on September 30th.  The photo was taken from the south abutment.  The side legs must be added to tower 6 and tower 7 must be erected.

Note that the channels on the tops of the towers seem to have different heights ---- they do --- to accommodate the three different beam heights.

Many of the tower legs are only tacked to the base plates.  The professional welders will stop by in the next week or so and do the permanent welds.  Also, the braces and gussets between the side legs and the center legs must be added.  



Status October 3, 2006:   That is Bruce Werner making "professional" welds on the base of tower 7 --- the last one! 

All the towers are up but we still have to weld gussets at the top of some towers and to make final welds between some tower legs and the base channels.

The red objects near the top of the first tower( tower 1) are angle magnets.  The magnets are holding the gussets in place for the welder.  

 That is Wayne Godshall in blue making one of those "professional" welds at the bottom of tower 2.  (Wayne was a little camera shy today ---- something about skipping school.)

Photo above shows all 7 towers.  The tower construction is essentially complete so this page is complete. 

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