Re: Trolling / PICS AND SITE

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Posted by Tom, Friends of Briggs Camp on March 18, 2002 at 21:58:08:

In Reply to: Re: Trolling / PICS AND SITE posted by Avalon on March 14, 2002 at 20:02:02:

Okay, Here's the deal on the bridge. Myself and 5 other guys who originally made up the group that is now called The Friends of Briggs Camp (FOB for short)built the bridge in January 1992. The design is directly from a U.S. Army manual for building "field expedient" things.

The material is from a site about 12 miles from the bridge site. The materials were tested and a blueprint was made by a licensed engineer. It took about 6 months of planning and preparation. The actual construction took 2.5 days to complete.

In late 1993, 1.5 years after the bridge was completed and in regular use, BLM rangers, prompted by environmentalists brought out a "building" inspector from Inyo County. The visit started what would turn out to be almost a year of struggles to keep the bridge open and me and my group out of jail!

The blueprints which were posted inside the cabin were confiscated as were pictures and our treasured logbook. All as evidence.

Through the efforts of many people that I cannot name as well as members of CORVA and The Gear Grinders, a meeting was set to examine and discuss the bridge at the site. It was a big deal! The BLM brought in 3 engineers, 1 from as far away as Denver. Several other groups were also represented including The Multiple Use Coalition, Sierra Club, The Gear Grinders, NPS and others.

The bridge was inspected for several hours, as were our plans and our methods. In the end the bridge was deamed safe! The weight limit is in response to concerns that a small, yet heavy vehicle i.e. a tractor for fire fighting, would try and cross the bridge. Additionally, because of the uneven top, there was a concern that a relatively heavy vehicle would cross too fast and start bouncing.

Yes, the bridge is safe. The Friends of Briggs inspect and tighten the bolts and cable each year in January or February. Last year the BLM and NPS inspected the bridge again with their engineers. It's good to go for another 4 years!

Take your time, enjoy the rush and have a good safe trip!

Tom Worker, Friend of Briggs Camp

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