Monday, June 20, 2016

Burnside's Bright Future

            I spent my last week attempting to collect all the information tossed onto my plate. The course was led by appetizers of budget spread sheets, piping hot FBMS familiarization, and a hearty introduction to travel policy and hiring authorities. My servers were the administration staff. I have to commend the staff for doing such a great job handling human relations and tightening budgets for not only Antietam Battlefield, but also Monocacy Battlefield. Despite being crisscrossed between trainings and vacation preparation, my supervisors were fantastic in keeping me on track in my task book goals. I found myself within quite a busy week at Quarters One, but really look forward to heading back soon.

            ANTI conducted structural firefighting training midweek. The training consisted of how to identify an extinguishers specific use, where extinguishers should be located, how to manage park extinguishers, and proper usage of a fire extinguisher. Each staff member at the workshop extinguished a controlled propane flame. This workshop pretty much closed the door on making acquaintances within the battlefield’s staff, now it’s time to start putting names to all of those friendly faces! Having everyone together for the workshop encouraged some comradery within divisions and was a real blast to be a part of.

            After the structural fire workshop, I met with the engineer working on the rehabilitation of Burnside Bridge. He took me on site and explained the engineering analysis that showed the serious damage within the bridge. In a nutshell, the bridge did not have proper drainage in place and was crumbling due to freeze-thaw damage within its footings, piers, and cement mortar. The two phased project proposed was to dam Antietam Creek in order to correct the space and stagnate water within the footings and to platform those footings down onto bedrock. Phase two of the project, and the phase currently being carried out is correcting the bowed wall to be in line with the arches of the bridge. Further drainage was engineered to increase longevity of the design, such as inverting the road crown for natural drainage toward the bank, stainless steel drains to spill runoff back into the creek, and sloped cement wall-tops to eliminate puddling. The project is so time intensive and challenging because the workers must organize the stones correctly in order to maintain historical integrity. It was absolutely out of this world to see a million dollar preservation project in the flesh. The team carrying out the work is resuscitating a 180 year old bridge to endure another 150 years of wear…Amazing!

Burnside Bridge
Footing & Pier Rehabilitation

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