Left Valley Side

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We constructed 3 bridges and 5 stairs.   A big challenge was to get the materials and the tools to the sites.  The site of the three bridges is in between very big boulders and there was no way to get the material there by carrying it.  The only option was the helicopter or a flying fox.  As a helicopter would have been very expensive,  we decided to install a flying fox.
Watch out,  here it comes! Here come the tools 7m long and 250 mm wide

Big planks for bridge beams leaving the top rock,   which was used as a loading facility for the construction timber.

The 7 m long bridge beams arriving safely on top of the bottom rock,  where the Bushwoman Rita unloads and stacks them in a safe place.

The chainsaw and the rock drill in its orange case are making their way down to the bottom rock,  on which most preparation work was done.

Watch that woman up there.Stair 1: named "Adi" is the first structure that was built.  It was slightly larger than the rest, as we realised that such a width is too large.  Later, we reduced the size on all further stairs and bridges to 600 mm,   so one can easily hold the rails on both sides of the structures.  It was a prototype and trial for the rest to come.

Right: Rita enjoys positioning her backside on "Adi" stairs,  which is still unfinished,  as the handrails and the saftey netting under the steps are still missing.

 
Is this the right place for a bridge ?Bridge 1:  named "Athene" was built last.  It was a very tricky bridge to build,  as it is located between two boulders where nailing and hammering from the sides was impossible.  The complete bridge needed to be built in an open space on top of a boulder.  The deck did not have to be nailed on as the small boards could be fitted after placing it on the right spot.  The frame had to be lifted and shifted into the gap between the two boulders.

Left:   The half prepared frame work of the "Athene" bridge before transportation into the right place.  Hand rails and netting are yet waiting to be mounted.

Ohhh,  it tipped into the wrong position.

Left:  The first attempt to move the "Athene" bridge failed.  The bridge tipped to the side and needed to be turned back onto the beams again.

Right:  The second attempt was later successful thanks to the strong hand of Rita.  The frame now rests on temporary supports and the post holding it up can now be put into the right place.  All construction steps had to be decided on site as there were lots of unknown factors and surprises encountered.

Rita after a hard muscular lift.

Bridge 2: named "Meera" is the shortest bridge.  It was partly built first for reasons of access and totally completed last,  as the rails and posts would have been hindering the transport for the timber for bridge "Athene".

Right:
Bridge "Meera" now gets posts and hand rails as bridge "Athene" (left on picture) is ready for transport.  One cannot see the deep gap of 20 m between the two foundations of "Meera".

Louie's grandma inspecting the workBridge 3: named "Louie" was the longest bridge and most dangerous to build.  It leads over deep gaps reaching up to 25 m depth. 

The bridge has two main beams of 6.00 and 7.00 m.  Each beam is supported in the middle to make sure it can be fully loaded with people.

The pay load on the bridge is 500 kg/m2,  a load that will never occur.  The critical loading situation is the moment everyone stands on the same side and lean against the rails to look down into the deep gorge.  To avoid tipping to the side,  the beams are not just laid onto the rocks. Instead they are securely anchored with epoxy resin down into the boulders,  so no beam can ever lift off.

Left: "Louie's" grandma inspecting the bridge under construction.

Don't look down into the gap !! Left side: Drilling the holes into the post through the stainless steel brackets.   The ladder spans over a 20 m deep gap between the rocks. Rita had to secure Mura with a rope during such work.

Right side: Supports in middle of the upper beams.  The cross beam avoids lateral movement.

Posts with cross beam
Almost finished The "Louie" bridge almost finished.  Rails and netting are still missing.  In front the unfinished "Meera" bridge without posts,  rails and netting. 

The rope of the flying fox is stretched across the work site,  which got very muddy during the frequent winter rains.  Work had to be done whenever there was no rain.

jude.jpg (27680 Byte)Stair 2:  named "Adi" follows soon after the "Louie" bridge.  After climbing that stair,  the scenery changes completely.  A gentle valley opens up and one can see the picturesque valley floor with the Wairere Stream flowing gently towards the sea.   Luscious vegetation with Nikaus and Pongas are bordering the water.

Right:  "Rita" testing the slope of "Adi's" stair.  Everything seems to be just fine.

Stair 3:  named "Roger" is the longest stair and will not have any rails.  There is absolutely no danger that anyone can be harmed by falling to the side,  so we decided not to add on any handrails.

Left: "Rita" and a few others are testing the stability of "Roger".  It seems to hold....  so far.

 

Stair 4:  named "Daphn'Dave"is only temporary and will be removed as soon as the upper suspension bridge will be built.
Stair 5:  named: "Mura" is the last stair on the return walk of the loop.   Before we had a little aluminium ladder in its place.  The wooden stair leading along a big boulder is quite an improvement.  This stair will only get a hand rail without any netting,  as nobody can get seriously hurt,  if one falls down on the side.   

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