Archive for June, 2010

SCT Hwy92 and Old Harris

Worked on the Hwy92 bridge section of the Silver Comet Trail today. Build-up from erosion has been forcing mud onto the trail at this point and creating a hazard. I had removed the mud from the trail previously but didn’t have time or a plan to address the real source of the problem. Sorry, no before pictures for today’s work. The plan that I came up with was to create two berms to channel the silt laden runoff away from the trail. I then created a runoff channel adjacent to the trail. I was able to merge the three channels into the existing natural runoff.

In this image you can see the trail runoff channel on the left and the upper silt berm to the right. (click images to enlarge)

Upper Silt Berm and Runoff Trench

In this image you can see the drainage channel and the lower silt berm. A lot of material had to be moved to create the berms and drainage channel, as accumulated soil was well above the level of the trail. If I had more time and energy I would have extended the runoff channel as sections are still encroaching onto the trail. These mods will get the job done for now.

Lower Silt Berm and Drainage Channel

On the opposite side of the bridge, the silt accumulation had formed a bog with several inches of standing water. I was able to open the drainage and the bog is now draining.

Bog at Hwy92 bridge.

    Erosion Control at the new Old Harris bridge

A professional erosion control team came in and did an outstanding job of cleaning up the potential disaster area at the new Old Harris bridge. This action prevented imminent disaster as the hillside was on the verge of failing. I don’t know who was responsible for getting this work completed, but it was timely and well executed. The huge amounts of accumulated silt were moved, the drainage re-contoured and straw-matting was secured to the slopes.

In this image the silt was a foot high and the force of the silt had broken the fence stake.

Massive silt accumulation at Old Harris bridge.

Muck had accumulated into an sludge pool.

Massive silt accumulation at Old Harris bridge.

What an amazing difference. I hope we can get this team to repair other areas of the trail.

Old Harris bridge erosion control.

Old Harris bridge erosion control.

Overall the work was excellent. I wish they had removed a section of slumping (see image below), but the drainage provided should be adequate. I hope they re-seeded as part of the process.

Slumping on South side.

Tommy’s 24hr Ride for Livestrong

Stopped by Marietta High School Saturday evening where Tommy Foster was riding to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Tommy was riding strong, taking longer pulls on his bike than scheduled.

Go Tommy, Go.

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Tommy has raised over $10,000 dollars for Livestrong and had many friends and family there supporting him.  He did an excellent job of organizing this effort and gaining community support.

Tommy riding his 24hr Livestrong Challenge

(click images to enlarge)

Tommy on Track for his 24hr Challenge


WG at the Tunnel

Frankie had a cute idea. With all the work we’ve been doing at the tunnel, what better than a photo of me at the tunnel.

(click image to enlarge.)

Coots Lake Mirror

Coots Lake Mirror

We rode from Coot’s Lake this morning. While getting ready to ride, I happened to notice the mirror like calmness on the lake. Pulled out the camera and shot this photo.

(Click image to enlarge).

Brushy Mtn Tunnel, Amazing Results!

The tunnel as we started Sunday morning.  These guys wasted no time, they had already shoveled the mud  into buckets that I had piled up on Friday and hauled it off down the trail.

(click the images to view enlarged).

Brushy Mtn Tunnel when we arrived.

Tuesday evening we rode out to the tunnel to inspect the results of our efforts.

Can you believe the difference???

The tunnel east entrance, Tuesday evening.

The Brushy Mtn Broom Brigade ROCKS!

What a wonderful bunch of folks, they worked hard and made a difference.

Silver Comet Trail mud and “washout” clean-up 20100604

Recent heavy rains had created several areas of potentially dangerous washout on the trail.  Even our most experienced riders, including me,  had incidents where the bike behaved “squirrel-ly” .   Some spots were muddy, some were sandy.  Of course Georgia red clay mud can be very slick and dangerous.    Poor erosion control and  silt accumulation  were the culprits responsible for most of the problem areas.  I’d have to say that GaDOT has been lax in their responsibility to manage erosion of embankments of roads crossing the Silver Comet trail.  In fact, every problem area and potential problem in the Paulding section of the trail was associated with a road bridge.

GA92 Bridge was where I started, just west of the Hiram Trailhead.  (Sorry no photos)
We had one of our best riders warn us about this spot.  I was out there the next day, taking the morning off from work.  Soil accumulations were no longer allowing normal run off.   A slurry of mud and water was accumulating on the trail; very dangerous , very thick and very slick when wet.   Using a flat nose shovel I removed the mud from the trail.   Where practical I removed accumulations of mud adjacent to the trail,  improving drainage and restoring normal runoff of rain water.    I also improved the drainage of adjacent pools of standing water.

Tools of the Trade: work shoes, flat-nose shovel, hoe, and stiff-bristle push broom.

Tools of the Trade

Mt Olivet Rd Tunnel

Tire tracks in thick sand at Mt Olivet tunnel

You can see the danger here. Deep tire tracks in the sand.  This turned out to be much more sand than I realized when I started.  The sand was wet and heavy.  I initially had thought about using a bucket to haul the sand out, but soon realized that was not going to happen.  I elected to shovel the sand into piles as a temporary fix and removing the immediate hazard.

Shoveling the sand.

The sand piles and cleared area

Sand piles

GA 61 bridge, east of the Paulding Chamber Trailhead

Trail silt washout

This is how problems like this start. Silt and debris accumulate at the edge of trail, eventually, run-off begins to flow over the trail rather than next to it. To correct problems like this I use a flat-nose shovel, starting usually at the low-end of the run off and create a scallop in the soil next to the trail. This forms a shallow trench for the water to run off the trail, rather than across. (click photo to see detail) If the mud not too thick I can remove the mud and create the drainage channel adjacent to the trail with one shovel stroke. Just removing the mud on the trail will not fix the problem, just temporarily patch it.

Cleaned section with run-off channel.

The worst section at GA61 bridge was on the east side. A large section of mud was spreading across the trail.

GA61 worst section.

Mud removed, channel created

Not an ideal fix, the mud has been removed and a shallow channel created next to the trail.  Much more work will need to be done in this area.   Soil accumulation will need to be removed and silt fences added to manage the erosion.

Brushy Mtn Tunnel workday #2

Thanks to Tibike and Hollywood for helping. We were able to clean-up an area that has been a problem for years, with some very dramatic results.

SCT Brushy Mtn Tunnel East entrance Friday 5/28

This is what we started with on workday #2. 1/2″ thick muck you couldn’t even walk on. To trim the silt fence I had to get Hollywood to shovel me a path.   While HW and I worked on the entrance, Tibike worked the mud problem in the tunnel, moving it over to the wall, we ended up with about 2″ of mud accumulated along the wall.

Brush Mtn Tunnel east entrance 5/28/2010

It didn’t take too long and we had cyclists using this space.

Tire tracks in the cleaned section.

After trimming the silt fence back for trenching. Tibike suggested we put the trimmed section at the tunnel entrance. Great idea! We trenched about 8″ next to the wall and trail to bury the silt fence. With a 2lb sledge we were able to get the silt fence sunk deep enough to secure the bottom with rock. We then covered the rock and fence with dirt.

the next day….

SCT Brushy Mtn Tunnel East entrance Monday 5/31

What an amazing difference. After ~1″ of rain the previous night there is absolutely no muddy runoff. In fact the rain has washed most of the residual mud off the concrete.

Tunnel entrance, mud and silt fence

(Click the image to see details.) In this image you can see the great job Tibike did accumulating the mud against the wall of the the tunnel, the placement of the silt fence and especially, note, there is NO new mud flowing into the tunnel even with 1″ of rain during the night!

Detail: tunnel entrance, silt fence

Detail at the tunnel entrance.  Look Ma, no fresh mud!  A small rivulet of clear water was actually flowing along the wall in this photo, but no mud.

Equipment trailer loaded with gear.

This is the trailer I got from Nashbar to haul gear to the work site.  It’s attached to my Surly CrossCheck rain bike.