A slightly more timely post. Here is what we did today:
Chilling out back home, after weeding the garden:
Last week contractors came to start work on fixing the bridge- actually the same guys who poured the concrete footing back in January. Conrad, the dude in charge, has the “eye” for engineering. I don’t think he has any degrees, but years of experience has (according to reputation) made him really good at it.
He looked at the bridge, and the “fix” that had been decided upon (dig out broken end of bridge, jack up until level, box and pour in concrete to stabilize) and stated that it was a bad/stupid plan, and that he was not going to do it.
Our bridge is… organic. It seems to have grown bit by bit over the years. The oldest parts probably date back to 1970 or so. This also means it is rather ramshackle. He figured (correctly I feel) that the bridge would probably just disintegrate if they tried to jack up one end. Or if it didn’t fall apart on the day, it would do so within a year. And of course, people would then blame the contractor (him).
His recommendation is to put in a Z-class culvert, which would then be rated to 100 tonnes. While we would lose the cattle-stop (which is convenient), a bridge with effectively no weight limit would be even better. He figures he could probably do the entire job in half a day.
Two problems. First, it would need a resource consent (work on a waterway). Second, he needs to convince people that the new plan is better.
Right now I don’t know what is going to happen. If they try to get new contractors to do the old plan, I will complain (in writing) so we have come-back if it falls apart again soon after. We will keep you updated.