P.O. Box 269
Millinocket, Maine 04462
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The Bridge Across Millinocket Stream


The Beginning .................

View from the east Side; preparing Foundation for Base Plates

     It was in February of 1991 when Georgia Pacific Corporation of Millinocket, Maine notified the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club that the Stacyville Road section of I.T.S. 86 from the clubhouse to Whetstone Falls Bridge would not be available for snowmobile travel for the next 7 to 10 years due to logging operations in that area.

     The Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club proceeded with a special meeting to determine a solution for the crossing of Millinocket Stream which would enable us to reconnect with I.T.S. 86 and 83 thus allowing continued travel to points north and east of Millinocket. A committee was formed with Jim Barnes Sr. being the project engineer and leader. Jim's son Terry also began working very closely with his dad on this project. It was determined that a bridge structure was needed to provide crossing of the stream if snowmobiling was going to continue in this area.

   The Welded Structure; Lots of Work!  
   Starting in May of 1991, Jim and his son Terry began the permitting and application process necessary to construct a bridge structure across the Millinocket Stream. Upon approval from Georgia Pacific and the necessary state agencies to build this bridge, Terry approached an engineer from a construction firm seeking information as to what size the I-beam would be needed for the heart of the project. Keeping in mind that not only snowmobiles would be crossing this bridge, but also 8,000 lb. Tucker Snow Cats used for trail grooming purchases. The engineer feed into his computer the necessary information to determine the stress factor and I beam size that would be needed to cross the 126-foot span across the stream. Also taking into consideration that a center support was not being allowed by environmental agencies, it was determined that a 36 inch I beam with a stress rating of 150 lbs. per linear foot would be needed.

        Officials of the town of Millinocket were approached with this information and the discussion of purchasing the I-beams ensued. Recognizing the importance of snowmobiling to the economy of this area, the town agreed to purchase the I beams for the snowmobile club at a cost of $6,200, which included delivery from upstate New York. With this commitment from town officials the project was underway.

     Jim Barnes also recognized the financial burden that the snowmobile club would be taking on in constructing bridge. One day Jim was voicing his concerns to David Moore about how money could be raised for the purchase of some materials for the bridge. Moore along with Brian Wiley, the owners of Destination Sports, and a distributor for Polaris Snowmobiles, contacted Polaris Industries seeking if they could help support the project. Moore and Wiley applied for a snowmobile under a special program of Polaris Industries. The snowmobile would be used for a fundraiser for the bridge project.

     Polaris granted the request and awarded the club a 1992 Polaris Indy Sport 440. Club museum director Steve Campbell then got the ball rolling. Seventy- five raffle tickets were sold at a cost of $60.00 each which also included a supper and dance. After expenses were cleared and the sled paid for, a profit of $2,000 was realized for the bridge structure.

     Upon arrival of the I beams on June 20th, a crane donated by a construction company unloaded them and welders from the club began cutting, beveling, and welding the 65-foot I beams. Phil Grass, head welder for the project, spent 63 hours turning the four I-beams into the two main support crossings. During the process of welding the I beams, Jim and Terry with the help of Hoddie Gardnerís surveying skills, began measuring, marking, and staking the locations for the abutments on each side of the stream bank. Gardner sighted a ďlineĒ across the stream for placement of the batter boards and for the  exact placement of the bases. A full 8 hours was needed to accomplish the surveying and batter board placement. The next night vandals pulled up all the stakes and markers. The process had to be repeated again. A day later it was found that the vandals had struck once more and the surveying had to be done all over once more.

     The next stage was to dig the holes for the bases. Gerald Pelletier & Sons as well as Billy Reed donated their backhoes to dig the holes. The forms were constructed of 2 x 4ís and plywood and rebar webbed in for structural strength. Jim approached the Millinocket Foundry about donating the base plates (4 pieces) which were constructed of 1 inch steel plate 2 ft x 3 ft x 1 inch thick. These plates were built to Jimís specifications. It took several days to assemble forms, rebar, and base plates and to place them into the holes that were dug. The night before the cement was to be poured Jim went to the site to make sure everything was ready to go. He found that the vandals had struck again. He spent four hours reassembling the forms that late evening. Early the next morning on August 10th, the cement arrived and was poured into the base forms.

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