Friday, July 27, 2018

A sculpture bridge across the 'rock river"

©2018 Barry Smith - High quality design document for the offset bridge over the rock river
Fiona and I are continuing to install a few sculptural bits and pieces on the block. This includes installing pieces in and near what we refer to as the rock river below our house. The photo above shows the result of a significant design conversation between Fiona and I. If you go to the last photo in this blog you can see what some of the lines are about - we are building an offset bridge to fit the offset alignment of the terraces on opposite sides of the rock river..

But the main points of our discussion, as recorded on the rusty tray, were about: whether the area where the two sections of the bridge meet will have 3, 4 or 5 planks across the two offset bits; and where will we place the sandstone pieces. The conclusion from the design discussions was that there would be 5 planks; and there would be one sandstone piece on the left hand side closer to the house and three pieces more towards the centre and below the bridge.

The job started about 8am this morning in the cool and shade - I got a friend to help carry the 4.8m plank down and roughly align it whilst Fiona stood on the deck above and told us if it aligned with the existing bridge across the rock river. This plank will be the spine of the bridge.

©2018 Fiona Dempster - Placing the 4.8m plank that becomes the centre spine of the bridge - shady and cool morning
And then I was a left to construct the framework of the bridge including digging holes for and concreting 10 support posts.

©2018 Barry Smith - Bolting the supports to the plank in readiness for concreting
©2018 Barry Smith - Great to have battery powered tools for the job
©2018 Barry Smith - Clearing a path through the rocks so that the upper plank can be placed in position
©2018 Barry Smith - The shape of the offset bridge with spaces for the sandstone becoming more clearly defined
The concrete will cure overnight. I will begin the process of adding the decking of the bridge tomorrow. I'm not sure if we will get the sandstone in place over the weekend - we will see.


  1. Brilliant construction work B - and I think that design conversation is very indicative of how we talk about things - so funny - somehow we worked it out!

  2. I can well imagine the lead up: "I've got an idea ... wait, I need something to draw on ... "

    How a picture is worth more than a thousand words!

    And wondering if your rock river ever floods during heavy rains as our otherwise bone-dry flood plain does.

  3. F, LA and MC - thanks for these comments at stage one - and thanks for following through to stage two. F - in the end the landscape offered the opportunity for an interesting design. LA - I really had a great smile over your comment - yes it went like that. The rock river was required by the engineers when we built - there are two large pipes that divert water from the front of the house and the water runs through the rocks to control erosion - so the rock river never truely runs. MC - even though it was a requirement we have loved it from day one. All - go well. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.