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  1. #1
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    Anyone working with trails that are underwater for a few months?

    Looking for people who have built TTF's on trails, where you know everything will be submerged for a couple of months of the year?

    Our local city trail is on the banks of a river that has a ~20' swing in pool stage during the rainy/floody season. when the river comes up, everything goes under, and when the waters recede, we just repair/rebuild/reroute.

    We'd like to build some more involved TTF's, but are concerned about a) them simply floating away and b) water damage to any lumber used.

  2. #2
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I understand the need to sometimes "work with what you have" but this is pushing it.

    Wood exposed to the elements will decay. Some species decay slower than others. Wood exposed to water will decay at an accelerated rate.

    The obvious solution is to build on higher ground. If this is not an option and you do not mind rebuilding everything over and over and over again, my suggestion is to use rock. Big rocks. Huge "machine moved" rock.

    Personally, I'd find a better place to build.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  3. #3
    gran jefe
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    If you use the wood that they use for dock pilings, it ought to last a while.

    As far as floating away, it could be a big challenge to weight something down enough to keep it from floating. Can you bolt them to trees?

  4. #4
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    Building something big and strong enough, and durable enough, to withstand annual flooding will be expensive, and could land you in conflict with your local (and state, and federal) jurisdiction's floodplain management regulations.

  5. #5
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    55gal barrels, some decking material, couple rope tie downs....floating trail system! oh yeah!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dl1030 View Post
    55gal barrels, some decking material, couple rope tie downs....floating trail system! oh yeah!
    It has been considered, lol.

  7. #7
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    Messing with waterways is taken very seriously by the DNR. You misstep and you could lose access to a lot of land, and/or be facing very large fines. Be careful.

  8. #8
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    I know a trail system in a park that gets flooded regularly in the spring. It is not worth putting that much work into TTF's. It's enough work rehabbing the trail tread every year when the water recedes (dealing with all the silt that gets left behind) that the club is working to move as much of the trail out of the flood zones as much as possible and up onto the levee.

  9. #9
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    Even if you could build something out of wood that would stay put and survive being underwater for an extended period, I doubt you'd want to ride it after. Say you built it out of pilings, it's still going to be smelly and very slippery for a long time after the waters recede.

    I'd be looking at rock or concrete. or higher ground if at all possible.

  10. #10
    Hermit
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    Yeah, (sigh) I'm working on a trail system in an area that floods every spring. We have to close the trails to bikes for at least a couple of months every spring (not that you could ride - unless you have gills).

    It's a county park up in NE Ohio. It's a major problem - we can't even put in a small bridge because it will float away. And the land is a Clean Ohio conservation parcel, so we're extremely limited in what materials and construction techniques we can use.

    I've considered making a wooden bridge that is tied with rope to a nearby tree, so that when the water raises it will at least remain in the vicinity, but I worry that the rope would end up getting cut and we'd be outta luck.

    We're bringing in rock from where ever we can get it, and trying to use it to create some solid sections in soft ground, as well as basic tech features. It takes a lot of work - gotta hunt up rock, bring it to the site in a truck, unload, move it down the trail with our trail wagon - and then start to try to make our features.

    Given a choice in the matter I would have picked a better site to build on. But it's this or nothing, and since it's our first mtb trail in the county parks we could hardly pass it up.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
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