I attended a course last week on "ice safety" all about how to be safe while working on ice. Rather timely, as this week I'm spending a fair amount of time walking on ice to monitor work on my river training project.
As I mentioned, the river is eating away the bank. This photo shows the view from the level of the river, instead of from the bridge. The bank that's been eaten away is directly in line with the abutment:
As you might imagine, washing the abutment away would make it tough to drive across the bridge. Cars don't yet have the ability to hover. The last 'setting the scene' photo that I'll post follows. It's the view of the bridge from past the location of the spur. The trail of footprints entering the frame from the right-centre is approximately where the spur will be centered when everything is done.
While the labourer was walking around, she mentioned that she thought she heard the ice cracking. Well... if it was cracking, then there are issues! The ice is seriously thick at this site - to everyone's relief. But last week when I took these photos, we didn't know that yet.
The last photo shows the layout of the guidebank near the bridge. The painted lines are about 5' past the furthest extent of the rock that we are laying in to protect the new bank. I talked to my engineer about it, as it looks like we're going way the heck out into the channel. The answer? Well, apparently the OLD bank used to be out where the painted lines are on the ice, and the vertical banks to the east were once forest situated well away from the river. To put it into perspective, the river used to run straight through the center span of the bridge (seen above) and it is still aligned perfectly downstream of the bridge.
The excavator in these photos is prepping the area so that there was space to start building the new bank, excavating the toe of the bank and so forth, as I'll expound upon later. Hopefully it takes me less than an hour to upload the photos next time! Stupid slow internet at my hotel...