As the final railroad ties are banded up and shipped away the
trail construction begins. Waves are
generated with tie removal, so the first step in prepping the roadbed is “back
dragging” with a machine that has a bucket attached. This technique of dragging a bucket along the
gravel removes about 80% of the imperfections from the roadbed.
At the same time the roadbed is being prepped for the
construction process. A backhoe is brought in to clean out clogged culverts, and
assess if any additional drainage is necessary for the future trail to stay intact.
Once the roadbed is smoothed out the foreman analyzes
whether or not there is enough gravel to support a trail. Additional gravel is then brought in if there
isn’t enough ballast. Attention is then
paid to the drainage system to ensure that the trail will not be washed out by
During the first phase of construction, a water buffalo is
used to soak the roadbed while a roller compaction machine is run over the
top. The water and compaction machine
ensure that there will be very little movement in the base of the new trail.
The second phase deals with any construction and signage
that has to be installed. Small
bridges are built from railroad ties. Benches,
signs, garbage cans and pet waste mitts are then installed.
A final inspection is then carried out to ensure proper
installation of all trail amenities.
This inspection also includes a visual inspection of the trail itself
which insures a clean finished project is delivered.