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WORK DONE TO REHABILITATE WILDERNESS TRAIL BRIDGES - 2007/10/01 10:22 Work to repair 2 bridges located in the Golden Trout Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest began on September 15, 2007. Both stock bridges provide access for horses and mules, and hikers, to cross major rivers located in the Wilderness.

Little Kern Suspension Bridge which crosses the Little Kern River providing access to Trout Meadows and the Kern River.

Kern Flat Bridge crosses the Kern River near Kern Flat providing access to the eastern portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness.

The bridge will be primed and painted with a coating system designed to encapsulate the lead and prevent it from entering the environment. The bridge will be painted to match the original color scheme. The major work on the Little Kern Suspension Bridge is to encapsulate the lead based paint and rust preventative that was applied to the bridge when it was constructed in 1957. The application of “red lead” as a primer and rust preventative to steel structures of all types was a common practice of the era. While the risk to the public is minimal, the red lead is beginning to show through the original surface paint.

Other work on the Little Kern Suspension Bridge includes stiffening the deck trusses to prevent further degradation of the structural members. The main suspension cables will be tightened so that the bridge will return to its original design configuration and load capacity. The bridge will only be open to hikers this weekend, and opened for stock use October 2nd.

The timber decking on the Kern Flat Bridge will be replaced over the entire bridge. This will improve footing and safety for both people and pack stock. While decking is being replaced the bridge will be closed to all travel. This work is expected to begin on Monday October 1st and continue for up to 10 days.

Upon completion, the reconstructed bridges will provide many more years of service to the public. Materials and labor were funded through the Forest Service Capital Investment Program. For more information, please contact Tom Burns, Recreation/Lands Officer at the Tule River/Hot Springs Ranger Districts: e-mail tburns01@fs.fed.us, phone (559) 539-2607, ext 230 Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 4:30 pm.

Tule River/Hot Springs Ranger District
32588 Highway 190
Springville, CA 93265
Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/

PHOTO: Kern Flat Bridge
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KRVR.org website administrator
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Little Kern Suspension Bridge - 2007/10/01 10:23 PHOTO: Little Kern Suspension Bridge Administrator, KRVR.org
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