Building Bridges and Working Together

Mom and Dad have a bridge down the hill from their condo.  It crosses a small stream in the woods.  It was built by the man who used to live in the condo next to them (he died a few years ago).  In addition to the bridge, he also blazed a trail through the woods to the other side of the condo complex.

Every year a tree falls on the bridge in the woods.  Although the retirement center is good about maintenance of the facilities, they do not do anything about the bridge.  They cut away the trees but don’t fix anything broken on the bridge.  Last time the bridge needed repairs, the son-in-law of the man who built it did them.

The broken bridge
The tree that fell on it

A couple of weeks before we got back in Ohio, Mom and Dad had a windstorm that blew down another tree onto the bridge.  The condo maintenance folks cut the tree away from the bridge.  Then Mom went down to inspect it.  She noticed a railing had come off and the bridge seemed less sturdy.  She had Tom look at it and they agreed on a few things that needed to be fixed.  Tom got the materials and last week we headed up to repair the bridge.

The first thing we needed to do was shore up one of the broken joists.  Tom built a pillar out of concrete blocks and rocks and screwed a 2×4 into the side of the joist.  Because the bridge doesn’t get a lot of traffic, he felt this repair would work until the next time a tree fell on it.

Then he installed a joist underneath the bridge which made it a lot sturdier.  While he held it up, I used the screw gun to put the screws in.  Mom helped by handing me the screws and getting any tools that Tom needed.  Finally, we replaced the broken railing and a couple of treads on the bridge that were rotten.

Inspecting the repaired bridge

It took us about two hours to fix the bridge, but it was fun working together on a project like this.  We are glad that Mom will be safe when she walks across the bridge to enjoy the view of the stream.

Building bridges is harder than repairing them.  But repairing them is something that we sometimes put off for too long.  Are there bridges that you need to repair in order to keep the ones you love safe?

Bridge supports us all