One time consuming aspect of the current bridge project has been related to the fact that there have been multiple previous bridges built in this same location in the past. In the picture above, Rupe, a member of our regular paid crew, is pounding on a big piece of concrete, which is a portion of a foundation wall from two bridges ago. Unfortunately, it is in the way of the current construction location. Also unfortunately, two days of beating on this footer (not all by Rupe – the guys took 10 minute shifts) didn’t make much of a dent.
Here’s a shot from a different angle, so you can see what a major obstruction this is. At this point, the attack on the old foundation has ramped up to using a chipper gun we had in our supply of tools. The goal is to undercut the boulder-sized chunk so that it can be pushed out of the way with the front end loader.
Things were going much better with the little chipper gun, but at about this time our shipping container from the US arrived . . . and on board was a used jack hammer Allen bought in Maryland (not shown in this picture)!
The jackhammer sped up this work so much, no one got a picture of it at work on the old foundation. In the picture above you can see that the big chunk of foundation has been pushed out of the way, toward the river (at the right of the picture). In this photo you can also get a good look at those deeper spots in the trench (Allen calls them “teeth”), which will add strength when the weight of the bridge on top of this wall will put pressure on the wall, trying to make it fall over sideways – something we definitely don’t want to happen!