We have partnered with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to install three bridges in the Galena Area on the Thomas and Whites Creek Trails. This partnership, using our mountain bike volunteers to perform the installation, allowed them to stretch the limited one-time bridge monies they had allocated. They were able to purchase three pre-engineered bridge kits instead of installing just one bridge.
Trail users have been requesting these bridges for many years, and in some cases taking it upon themselves to install substandard crossings that people have been hurt on and that affect the creek flow. Installation will start with the first and smallest Thomas Creek Bridge located about a third of a mile above Timberline Drive. This will occur in late June. The Whites Creek bridge installation on the trail up to Dry Pond will begin July 22. The third and largest bridge will go in on the upper Thomas Creek Trail about half a mile above the Dry Pond connector in September. See the story on page 10 of the Summer issue of the Galena Times and the recent story on KOLO News.
Volunteers are needed to make this happen, digging the footings, building the rock abutments, assembling the bridges, and connecting the trail. Most trail days will be mid-week to avoid higher trail traffic.
Thomas Creek Bridge #1
This simple 15-foot span replaced a rotting timber span on the heavily-used Thomas Creek Trail just above Timberline Drive. It was completed in give volunteer days. Upon inspection by the U.S. Forest Service engineer he proclaimed, “I’ve paid contractors for bridges that weren’t built this well.”
Whites Creek Bridge
This bridge is located just off the Whites Creek Trail on the Dry Pond Connector. This 30-foot span was completed in early August after 10 volunteer days and over 400 hours of labor. Much of that time was spent moving nearly eight tons of materials over a mile up to the bridge site. The original crossing was left intact so that those who still wanted to ride through the creek or let their dogs access water can do so. We set up a camera on timelapse and over 3000 images of the construction were captured in this video.
Thomas Creek Bridge #2
The third bridge on Upper Thomas Creek trail began construction on September 16. Although this is the largest of the three bridges at 36 feet long and 6 feet wide to accommodate pack animals, we expect it to move quickly since we will have all materials delivered directly to the bridge site because of close road access. Volunteer days will be September 16, 17, and 19, as well as the 22, 23, and 25.
All trail days are 9:00 a.m. to around 4:00 p.m. meeting at the bridge site, which can be accessed by bike or hiking on the Thomas Creek Trail half a mile past the Dry Pond Connector or by driving up Forest Road 049 1.8 miles above the end of Timberline Drive. As with all our trails days in the National Forest, please wear long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes. If you need a helmet/hard hat, eye protection, or gloves we will loan those to you. Please also bring plenty of drinking water and a lunch.
If you can’t volunteer but would like to donate towards construction costs you can donate to TAMBA’s trail building fund (top right of this page). This was not just a significant savings to taxpayers but literally the other two bridges would not have happened if we hadn’t stepped forward with our time and expertise.