As I mentioned in my last post, the bridge installation, via crane, was set for last Friday. Everything was set in place and lined up. Last Tuesday/Wednesday we received over an inch of rain, with a rapid rise in temperatures, which lead to serious flooding to Walsh Lake. All of the snow melt, with no where for it to go with frost still in the ground, rushed through the storm drains of the UofM golf course, half of the city of Lauderdale, and the Southwestern corner of Midland’s property. This was an incredible amount of water, I would estimate to be the equivalent to a 4-6″ storm rainfall.
This is looking from the back of 8 Tee last Thursday
The water is so high, it’s spilled out of the inlet onto 7 Fairway
All of a sudden, our plan was completely derailed, the outlook was bleak, our mental state even bleaker. When water starts to flow over the ground, the frost comes out with it quickly. Once the frost comes out, the upper 1-6″ of soil becomes extremely wet and loose. The threat of not being able to get the crane onsite, until all of the frost was out of the ground, was real. This could take weeks and was completely dependent on the weather.
Here’s a video of what the area looked like last Thursday
Immediately, we started to look at the contingency plans put in place if this situation was to arise. But really it was a waiting and hoping game. Wait for the water to recede, and hope that the frost didn’t come out of the ground, making it too soft for the crane and semis to drive onsite. When Walsh Lake floods, it leaves via two ways, first being through the city’s lift station located by the pump house, as well as through a gravity drain outlet that leads towards highway 280. Roughly 2000 gallons per minute is moved through both of these methods. By Sunday afternoon, the water level was dropping, as the pump and drain were catching up, as well as colder temperatures, slowing the snow melt. The foretasted lows for Sunday night were in the low 20’s. This was a small window as it was supposed to warm back up to the 40’s by midweek. It was decided to schedule the crane for Monday and hope the water level is low enough to make the install.
Monday morning, the water level was just below the feet of the footings by an inch, where the bridge itself would rest upon. By 10:00 am, the crane was onsite, and everything was prepped and waiting. The 100 ton crane, and semi carrying the counter weights, needed 4″ thick pads laid out ahead of them, as to preserve as much of the 8th tee and cart path. Everything worked perfectly, and we were literally spared by an inch of water, and enough frost in the ground, to make it happen.
The bridge “floats” on top of the black plastic pads, allowing the entire thing to move ever so slightly, with expansion and contraction during summer/winter
View from 7 inlet
View from 7 Tee
View from 3 Fairway
View from 8 Green
View from 2 Tee/9 Fairway
Now that the bridge walls are installed, the next step is to weld all six connection points together on the inside, outside, and underside. Then cement is poured into a “tray” system, which is the floor of the bridge. We need the weather to cooperate with this step, as it has to be above freezing for 48 consecutive hours. After that cures for a week, Hartman will adhere stone to the top of the floor, on the inside walls, as well as over the connection points. A top-cap of stone will then be put on top of the walls.
After those steps are complete, the cart paths on each side of the bridge will be lined up with the bridge floor, and the restoration of the surrounding areas will begin. We look to be on schedule with where we need to be. I’ll post as the next steps are completed.