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  #1  
Old 26-02-09, 17:25
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sapper740 sapper740 is offline
Derek Heuring
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Corinth, Texas
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Default Bailey Bridge across the Chehalis River

I think many of you will enjoy seeing a Bailey bridge, virtually unchanged from WWII, being used in the modern era to span the Chehalis River in Washington State. I've included a blurb from their website with a link to see several pictures from this project:

Quote:
WSDOT (Washington State Dept. of Transport) built a temporary bridge in 2007 to re-establish access across the Chehalis River at Leudinghaus Rd.

The 180 ft. long bridge was constructed using a portion of a stockpile of Bailey Bridge parts that WSDOT owns and maintains for emergency needs. (This bridge system was originally developed and manufactured by the Bailey Co. for the military for use as temporary crossing.)

The bridge is intended to be temporary and will be dismantled, cleaned, repainted, and returned to storage once the permanent replacement bridge comes on-line (about 18 months in this case).

The bridge was constructed for Lewis County by a crew largely assembled from WSDOT bridge and roadway maintenance personnel from around the state. Lewis County personnel assisted as well and will be responsible for periodic maintenance during this deployment. Engineering plans and field guidance were provided by engineers from the WSDOT Bridge Preservation Unit.

Everybody involved worked extremely hard to get the new bridge on-line in the shortest possible time. Construction began Monday, Dec. 17 and was essentially complete by Sunday, Dec. 23.
See pictures at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/s...7603518285535/
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  #2  
Old 27-02-09, 00:50
Rob Beale Rob Beale is offline
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Location: Gisborne, New Zealand
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Default I've got one!

I have just obtained enough parts to do 40 feet of single-single Bailey for our local Technology Museum here in Gisborne, NZ. I have to find a few extra bits, and a set of 20 panel pins, and then it can be assembled. I was lucky to get the 4 each of end posts, bearings and base plates too, plus a 1944 manual!

My dead line is to have it assembled for Easter when the NZMVCC come to town, so will post pics as it goes together. 6 weeks to go....

Rob
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  #3  
Old 27-02-09, 01:08
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Location: Owen Sound ON
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Default Bailey Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapper740 View Post
Construction began Monday, Dec. 17 and was essentially complete by Sunday, Dec. 23.
7 days to throw a Bailey across a river???

RCE Sappers must be spinning in their graves!!!!
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  #4  
Old 27-02-09, 07:17
Rob Beale Rob Beale is offline
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Location: Gisborne, New Zealand
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Default Our sappers never had H&S to deal with!

I was searching for sources of Bailey components today and found this info:

NZ Transport Agency: Bailey Emergency Bridging

A standard bridge (30m long, single span) could be erected and in use within a week.

NZ Army: Medium Girder Bridge

Double storey 30 m span, class 60, Erection in 45 min

so the old skills are still practiced, but there is less urgency when the bullets aren't flying.

My employer has had a Bailey in use for 15 years now. A replacement is planned, but with rising river bed levels they don't want it buried like its predecessor. The Bailey carries loaded logging trucks daily.

Its always a pleasure to see a Bailey, almost as good as seeing a CMP!
Rob
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  #5  
Old 27-02-09, 15:53
Alex Blair (RIP) Alex Blair (RIP) is offline
"Mr. Manual", sadly no longer with us
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ottawa ,Canada
Posts: 2,917
Default Speed..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Skagfeld View Post
7 days to throw a Bailey across a river???

RCE Sappers must be spinning in their graves!!!!
Jon..
Sounds like these guys were working at Signals speed..

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  #6  
Old 28-02-09, 17:41
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sapper740 sapper740 is offline
Derek Heuring
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Corinth, Texas
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Skagfeld View Post
7 days to throw a Bailey across a river???

RCE Sappers must be spinning in their graves!!!!
As a Union Electrician I'm somewhat loathe to make the following pun:

They must have been Union workers!

All kidding aside, the speed at which a well trained company could throw a bridge over a river was a constant source of amazement to non-Engineer officers. There is a not-too-well known story from WWII, outside of Engineers that is, of an ass-chewing that a Lieutenant was about to receive from an Armoured Corps Major. The Major had driven to a forward area in the late afternoon to check on the progress of two bridges that were to be built so his tanks could press forward. The construction was to begin mid-morning. The Major was angered to see the Engineers sitting down to chow at about 1700hrs.
The conversation went something like this:

Major: "The Armour is ready to move up this road and I find you resting and setting up for chow. I suggest you move out and get to it!"

Eng.: "Major, Sir, simmer down and have some chow. We have some fine liberated wine and some good de-boned pork today."

Major: "What is your plan!"

Eng.: "Well, the bridges are very simple. Short span. Steep banks. Class 40 loading."

Major: "How long will it take!?"

Eng.: "Less than 4 hours with two company's building simultaneously and a third moving supplies up."

Major: "Anything you need from Battalion?!?"

Eng.: "No, not presently anyway."

Major: "Well, when can you begin?!?

Eng.: "They're all done."

Major: "All done! How can that be! With you sitting here!?!"

Eng.: "Well Major, the only way you got this far forward was over those two bridges. They're about three kilometers back from where you came from. We built them hours ago."


The speed of the Engineers also impressed others. There is a famous Willy and Joe cartoon showing two dog-faced Engineers hunkering under a wooden trestle bridge, one on a walkie-talkie, while German trucks drive across overhead. The caption reads:

Yessir! Ol' B Comp'ny set another bridging buildin' record. There's a Kraut regiment retreating over it!
Attached Thumbnails
Engineer cartoon.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 01-03-09, 06:52
Rob Beale Rob Beale is offline
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Location: Gisborne, New Zealand
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Default Bridge building times then and now.

The engineers in the latter part of WW2 were like a well oiled machine, and were renowned for their speed of construction as in Sapper's anecdote.

The film of "Bridge Too Far" shows what happens when the logistics train fails to place the bridging assets where they are needed: right behind the forward troops.

With the equipment in place on site, and reconnaissance and site preparation complete, bridge construction is then very rapid.

In the case of the 2 NZ Division, the engineer regiments were often recruited from the staff of the Public Works Department which had undertaken massive civil projects around New Zealand during the depression years. They built Dams, Power Stations, railway lines, extended the state highway network etc. This was part of a Government initiative to provide relief work for the thousands of unemployed. (Doesn't this sound like what's on the news today?)

After the war the CRE (Commander Royal Engineers) Bull Hanson became the PWD Commissioner of Works, and many sappers returned to the PWD and County Councils putting their skills to use on civil tasks.

The modern civil construction times allow for site selection, survey and preparation, transport of the bridge from a central depot probably hundreds of kilometres away, assembly of a construction team with experienced supervisors from where-ever, building the bridge, then constructing sealed approaches to withstand the size and volume of the modern vehicle fleet.

A week is an incredibly short time for this today!

Rob

Last edited by Rob Beale; 01-03-09 at 06:54. Reason: correct typos
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  #8  
Old 01-03-09, 15:55
Barry Churcher's Avatar
Barry Churcher Barry Churcher is offline
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Location: Castleton Ont.
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Default

I am sure when the bullets were flying the planning stages of the bridge erection took minutes. " We want to get from here to there, now"!
Today the Ministry of the Envoronment, the Conservation Authority, the local and State ot Provincial authorities and the local Indian band would all have to give approval. That could take years. Dirk keeps telling Janet about the Bailey Bridges for sale in Europe. She wants me to put one across our pond. Do any of you guys have a month off work to help me?
Cheers,
Barry
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  #9  
Old 01-03-09, 16:36
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sapper740 sapper740 is offline
Derek Heuring
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Corinth, Texas
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Default Bailey bits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Beale
I have to find a few extra bits, and a set of 20 panel pins, and then it can be assembled.
Rob, parts for Bailey bridges can still be purchased today, here's a website for a company in Alabama that sells Bailey bridges. or M1, M2, amd M3 panel bridges as the Yanks like to call them. Shipping might be high but if there are no pins available in NZ, it might be a fall back position for you.

http://www.baileybridge.com/

Derek.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-09, 18:06
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chris vickery chris vickery is offline
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Location: Nipissing Ontario Canada
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Default

Barry, I am keeping my eyes and ears open up this way just in case. There is a decent Bailey not far from here, several sections long. Do you think the Township would miss it???

Anyhow, just waiting for the day that they decide it needs to be replaced with a modern multi million dollar replacement. Anyone say scrap???
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  #11  
Old 02-03-09, 05:51
Rob Beale Rob Beale is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Gisborne, New Zealand
Posts: 374
Default I read that US and UK built Bailey don't match, shame.

I think I have a source for pins, but just need to find some clamps, and we may do it as a 3 bay with launching nose of 1 bay, just to show how they were launched.

Later if I get the other bits, it will be done as a full 4 bay with ramps and deck. Typically I have left things till the last moment, but that will make the building more realistic!

At last resort I will get the pins made locally, and may have to do the same with clamps. I note that the clamps are only there to locate the transoms and stabilise them from turning over; it's the bottom chord of the panel that carries the load from the deck and transom.

Rob

ps I am due a trip up the coast, so will get some pics of the Bailey there.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-09, 10:01
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapper740 View Post
Rob, parts for Bailey bridges can still be purchased today, here's a website for a company in Alabama that sells Bailey bridges. or M1, M2, amd M3 panel bridges as the Yanks like to call them.
Please bear in mind the US built Bailey bridge differs from the British one, so take care assuming all parts can be interchanged.

Hanno
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  #13  
Old 19-04-09, 17:43
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
Terry Warner
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the river flats in a poor part of town
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Default

I think every roads department in the civilized world has either panels in their yards or "Bailey Bridges" in service somewhere in their jurisdiction.

I can think of one small bridge about a mile from my father's house that goes across a small river to access one or two farms. At least it was there ten yrs ago.
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