Update on the Centennial Bridge
On Monday, Hartman Construction poured the floor of the bridge. A pump truck was brought in to reach the 55 foot span of the bridge, and now, the concrete will be left to cure for a week until it’s ready for stone to be adhered to it. This process went fairly smooth, the frost is coming out of the ground quickly, especially where Walsh Lake had flooded onto the 8th tee/cart path area. Some collateral damage occurred, nothing we were surprised at, and actually planned for, with a project of this scope and its tight timeline. All turf and asphalt damage will be repaired when the bridge construction is complete.
I had been asked if the bridge deck was going to be extremely sloped, and as you can see in the picture below, there is just enough pitch to properly shed water. I’ve also been asked if the bridge will be slippery when it’s wet. We’ve chosen a stone that will not be slippery, even if wet.
The next step of the process, while the floor is curing, is to adhere the stone on the outside of the bridge, at the connection points, and ends. Now that the ice is out around the bridge, a platform to complete this stage, was engineered. Again, this was an assumption that was planned for, having to complete this stage when the night time temperatures remain above freezing.
As you can see in the photo below, the connection point stone, as well as the ends, will stick out from the remaining stone, giving the bridge more texture and depth.
This part of the project is extremely time consuming. Hand snipping, chipping, and cutting every piece of stone, to achieve the desired results is an art. Again, Hartman is completing this phase, with their experienced, versatile, and talented staff.
Below is a sneak peak at what the floor stone will look like. The floor will be completed, then the inside walls will be stoned. The final step will be to install a top-cap of stone over the wall tops. The inside of the bridge will be exactly as wide as the old bridge, plenty of room to walk side by side, or safely drive a cart.
Speaking of stone, there are 17 pallets to install! The process of adhering the stone will take at least two weeks, especially because the majority of it must be cut and/or mortared to fit perfectly.
Golf Course Update
This week we started to remove our non-permeable greens covers. The majority of the 12″ stakes that hold these covers down, are still frozen in, but with some hammering, and a specialty extraction tool made by our Equipment Tech, Evan, we were able to remove the stakes. I want to get these covers off to let the turf breathe. As the frost comes out of the ground, water is pushed upward, and can suffocate the turf under the plastic covers. By the end of the day tomorrow, we will have all 5 of these covers that we utilize off. From what we’ve uncovered so far, everything looks fantastic, with no turf loss.
If you remember, right before we covered the greens in November, we topdressed them heavily, and deep-tined over the sand. As we uncover, you can see that some of the sand has been worked into the turf. This is from the large amount of water that is pushed up, then goes back down into the deep-tine holes. Overall, this process has proven to be effective in our turf surviving the winter extremes. Once the surfaces dry out, and firm up, we will brush the remaining sand into the canopy, and roll the surfaces multiple times, to close up the holes.
My hope is that by next week, the wood-fiber Excelsior covers that we use on the remaining 14 greens, will be dry enough to remove. It’s all weather dependent, and the cooler temperatures next week do not look good for much assistance. The positive is that the sun is much stronger, so it will help, if it shows its face. To remove the staples that hold these covers down, all of the frost must be out in the top 4″, and right now, we are not there yet.
Patience will be key for the next few weeks, as we lose the remaining snow and frost, then begin to prepare the course for opening. The weather can change quickly this time of year, for the better and worse (remember last year?!). Know that we will do everything we can to get the driving range and golf course open when it’s safe for the turf/soil, and ready for play.