Tuesday, October 19, 2010

'Hand' Rails

We used the same handrail design for the Rocktoberfest bridge last Thanksgiving as we did at the Macdougall public bridge which we built in Russell Ontario last year. The idea was something Scott Cluett came up with to solve the problem of not using up valuable bridge width with stone copes or parapets. Having the handrails secured beyond the 6 foot wide bridge surface gives ample room for two people to walk on the bridge side by side.

After I went over the final shape and dimensions with him, Scott who is a part time blacksmith ended up fabricating the metal brackets for both bridges. (He also drove all the way to Rockport Ontario with his wife Cindy and their son and two girls, and hand-delivered the brackets on Thanksgiving Saturday in time for the brackets to be installed. Thanks Scott )

They are made of heavy steel and have a thick rust resistant coating. The 4 brackets which span the width of the bridge and have sockets at each end, are built into the bridge just above the voussoirs. Stones are fitted around them and then over them, with a final layer of pitched stone over that so that they are held quite secure. Metal or wood posts can be inserted into the square 4 inch sockets connected to the brackets and then handrails attached to the posts.

In the case of the Landon Bay Centre hiking-trail bridge, which is being called Kay's Bridge, the posts and handrails are made from local red cedars. There was some concern while we were building the bridge that the protruding metal sockets would look out of place and/or the wooden posts and handrails would not look correct on a stone bridge. We were pleasantly surprised to see how unobtrusive the metal is and how the handrails and stone work together to create a pleasing rustic look.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks John, it's always fun to work with you.
    Just wanted to mention Rob Laporte, a friend who helped me out on both this job and the much more extensive railings @MacDougall park. Also Ed Bowkett who helped out extensively @MacDougall Park and very kindly lent me the use of his well equipped, large, and very comfortable shop for both jobs. Looking forward to the next time!