Trestle 7 - before and after the tornado of April 28 2011

This is Page Three: Putting down the deck and rails

Click here to start with page one of the Trestle 7 reconstruction documentation / or go here for page two.

Photos on this page by Mike Smith.

February 11, 2014 - Mike records the beginning of the decking.

"The trestle crew will set the last bent tomorrow morning around 8:00. They have nearly half of the stringers
on connecting the bents on top and have begun decking on top of these stringers."

Decking start

With the installation of the final bents, the stringers can now run the length of the trestle.
This photo and the one below show that about half of the stringers have been installed.

Decking start

The photo above will warm the hearts of all Creeper Trail bike riders, even though these men are working in below-freezing weather.

Decking start

February 14, 2014
Mike Smith checks in with this report and photos.

"Not much happening at the trestle. I don't think they worked the last two days of last week because of the weather.
All the bents are set and half the stringers are set and decking has begun.  Hope to get back out there around Tuesday.
Will keep you posted. It will be a trestle soon."

Trestle in the snow

Residents of this area will recognize these conditions. But in spite of the weather, the trestle continues to grow.

Trestle in snow

Temperatures have been steadily below freezing during the day for the past several weeks.

Structural work

The first stretch of decking is down. Structural work is evident in this photo.

February 20 - Mike's report

The crew will work 2 men until noon tomorrow, the rest are leaving for home tonight. They have set all but two bents of stringers.
The town and the engineers have not decided how the stringer crossing the larger span of the cattle crossing is to be constructed  
(with or without steel beam reinforcement), so the last stringers will be set on Monday. The handrail has been started.

Handrails started

February 20


February 25

"The handrail is longer and some bracing is up on the cattle crossing."

Trestle 7 rebuilding
The gap for the cattle crossing can clearly be seen in this Mike Smith photo.

Working in the cold
Working in the cold. Sub-freezing temperatures didn't slow down the work crews.

Decking takes shape
The decking and railing start to take shape, showing the future shape of the trestle.

March 1 - Mike Smith photo below

All the way

March 14 - Update from Mike

Just a brief update. About all that remains to be done to open Trestle 7 are the decking, handrails, and some gravel on the approach grades. The man from the town told me that when those things are done they may open the trestle to traffic and have the ribbon cutting later. It should definitely be open by April. The "X" bracing will be last because the crew has to access the under side of the trestle with the man bucket to tighten bolts. The weather here has faired up with temps in the 50's and blue sky and sunshine.

March 14 2014

Attached are some pics of the trestle. About 50 ft (4 bents) to go with the decking and a little more than that with the handrails. I talked with some of the town men before leaving this afternoon and they hope to have the official ribbon cutting on April 28, 2014, the anniversary of the tornado that took the old trestle out. He did indicate that they may open the trestle to foot and bike traffic before then and that both these events would be publicized via internet.

March 14 2014

As you can see in the attached pics the trestle lacks only one bent span to have the decking complete and about six bent spans to have the handrails complete. It looks like they  are going to finish them on about the same day so that trail hikers and bikers won't try to cross an unfinished and potentially dangerous trestle.

March 14 2014

March 24 - Some shots from the bucket truck by Mike Smith

Finally got some pics from one of the sky buckets at Trestle 7 also some of the bracing. Patched together several into panorama. Hope that you can view it on at least a tablet. Weather good today - sunny with temps in the 50's, tomorrow 2 in. of snow is forecast. So much for March weather.

March 24 2014

March 24 2014

April 5 - Mike continues to document the progress on rebuiling Trestle 7

Attached are a few pics taken today. They show some of the grading work to the south end of the trestle. Also the two cattle crossings are visible, particularly in the distance shot. No one out there today knows when the gravel will be put down. Decking lumber is due this week. Note "Keep Out" sign to keep bikers off trestle as I understand some did cross, then carried their bikes across the beams to the south buttment which is not too safe, even though the height is not that great, a fall would hurt.

April 5 2014

April 5 2014

April 5 2014

April 19

Wings and grading continue - Mike makes a quick visit to the site to record the progress. The project is moving to the landscaping phase.

Trestle 7

Trestle 7

April 24 - Mike's final report before the opening

Trestle 7 opens to traffic tomorrow according to the crew on site. Please find attached the last construction pictures. I will try to get some finished pictures later when everything is leafed out and greened up. The ribbon cutting will take place at 2:00 pm on Monday and may be accessed by hiking in, biking in, or reserving a seat on a shuttle from Abingdon by calling 676-2282. Keller Road will be closed to traffic because of limited parking.

Trestle 7
Some of the last work is being done on the trestle before the opening.

Trestle 7
Mike takes this shot from the pasture looking toward the low hills, where the trees are stripped bare from the tornado.

Trestle 7
This more tranquil view, looking toward the Smith farm, shows the reconstructed trestle with the Great Knobs in the background.

April 28 - the official reopening of Trestle 7

Mike Smith recorded the official opening of the trestle.

Trestle 7 opening
Various dignataries and participants in the rebuilding of Trestle 7 gathered for a brief ceremony to open the trestle.

Trestle 7 reopening
Lawrence Dye (180,580 miles on the Creeper and counting) and Virginia Creeper Trail Club president Wayne Miller lead a pack of cyclists over the trestle.

End of documentation. My thanks to Mike Smith and Bob Craig for the work they did to record this historic event.

Return to first page of Trestle 7 photos.