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Thread: Rapid Stream Rd Bridges Replaced

  1. #1
    Member hiker0200's Avatar
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    Rapid Stream Rd Bridges Replaced

    NOTICE:

    The two bridges on Rapid Stream Rd (on the way to Mt. Abram's Firewarden's Trail) that washed out a while back have now been replaced, according to an NETC report from the 19th. Therefore, it is possible to drive all the way to the trailhead proper ! If you need to hike Abram for whatever list or reason, ya better get there quick before winter!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Guthook's Avatar
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    Woohoo! I'm especially happy to hear that, since I just adopted that trail this spring. I've been planning on heading in there to do end-of-season maintenance next week, and I wasn't particularly looking forward to fording two icy cold rivers with all of my work equipment. I guess this means I can spend a little extra time on those blowdowns I couldn't get in June.
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    Senior Member sdways01's Avatar
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    The branches were making the road a bit narrow when I was there last year. Unless things get trimmed back some, you might expect to get some small scratches down the side of your vehicles.
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    Generally a bridge replacement implies a winter time cutting operation. Once the cut occurs, the reason for the bridges no longer remain. The bridges usually survive for a few years but no guarantees.

    If they are logging, I expect the width issue will be cured quickly due to the amount of traffic.

  5. #5
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I went last January and the river crossings were frozen enough to walk across. On the drive up, I went down as the road was plowed, and I ran into a logging crew who mentioned they'd crossed on the ice. So, even if you don't want to drive the road past the bridge(s), at least you know you can cross safely. Also note that last January, descending (safely) this way would generally require crampons.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member sdways01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    If they are logging, I expect the width issue will be cured quickly due to the amount of traffic.
    True, but it would depend on where in there they are logging. If they are going straight after the bridges, there would be no reason to open up the road on the right to the true trail head.
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    I was checking out the trailhead for Mt Abrahm Saturday. The new Rapid stream bridges are higher than the road bed and surfaced with concrete. I expect them to last a lot longer than the Caribou Valley Rd bridges. It makes me wonder if plum creek owns that land and is expecting to put in house lots on the other side of rapid stream. The road on the other side of rapid stream is pretty narrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdways01 View Post
    True, but it would depend on where in there they are logging. If they are going straight after the bridges, there would be no reason to open up the road on the right to the true trail head.
    The trail head doesn't go to the left after the bridges?

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    The trail head doesn't go to the left after the bridges?
    No, it goes right and uphill, IIRC.
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    For a period of several years, the road was maintained past the trailhead and then paralleled the trail for a mile or so. One of the side roads off the main road cut back across the trail route to a large clearing on a fairly flat large clear cut. It was quite easy to drive up with a passenger car. I went back there about 10 years ago and the roads were still passable with four wheel drive but expect by now unless there has been recent logging, they are now woods roads.

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdways01 View Post
    The branches were making the road a bit narrow when I was there last year. Unless things get trimmed back some, you might expect to get some small scratches down the side of your vehicles.
    Those scratches are called Millinocket Racing Stripes up here.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Guthook's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Look at those snazzy new bridges! No guard rails, so try not to swerve!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you drive straight after the second bridge, you'll be on wide, improved road. But you won't get to the trailhead. I could hear the logging from the bridge, and I saw a logging truck on Rapid Stream Road, so I'm guessing you'll want to be very careful while driving to the trailhead from now on.

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    The road to the trailhead (take a right after the second bridge) is still pretty rough. A car with moderate ground clearance can drive right up to the trailhead, but I didn't want to chance it with my Jetta. Parked before the first bridge, and walked the road to the trail. Not having to ford those two streams certainly sped things up.
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    You are going to be seeing a lot more of these bridges compared to the old style culverts. With the Atlantic Salmon on the Endangered Species listing, best practices are in place in much if not all of Maine that require temporary logging bridges to be much more substantial. I don't have a good reference to the best practices manuals, but it appears as the though the rule is that the bridges have to allow unimpeded fish passage over an undisturbed stream bed. I expect the days of standard culverts are gone as typically culverts neck the stream down and effectively scour any stream bed that remains. Thus the approach of necking down the stream with abutments to reduce the span of bridges is no longer acceptable. I have also seen some very substantial oddly shaped culverts in use that consist of near flat or shallow oval bottom with a high necked down area above. The lower section of the culvert is wider than the stream bed and is set below the incoming and outgoing streambeds. The bottom of the culvert is then covered with stream bed material so that there is uninterrupted travel by fish. These installations can be pretty impressive with the road crossing 10 to 12 feet above the surrounding grade with long approach ramps suitable for trucks on either side.

    A major issue is that the downstream portion of the crossing can not result in a point where the water is discharged at a higher elevation than the stream on the discharge side. I expect that its less expensive to build a modular structure like that in the picture that can be relocated rather than setting a permanent culvert. Unfortunately the trade off is that logging bridges like the ones in the photos may end up being pulled quicker than permanent structures once a logger has moved out of area. I have heard of at least one case where private landowners that access their camps via a private road network had to pay the timber company to upgrade some culverts that accessed the camp owners land as otherwise they wouldn't be replaced due to the cost of the upgrade.

  14. #14
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    I hope they don't yank those out. I know a lot of people are pretty happy they are there, again. Guthook, did you get any trailwork done?

  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    They sure look like they could be easily removed by a truck with a winch and cable.

    Tim
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