gallery, cafe & apartment

Mind the Gap

We have had a gap in our lives this past week.  A big gap.  A big gap where the bridge across the Allt a’ Mhulaig (the burn that runs across the front of the property) used to be.  As part of the work to convert the garage into the cafe/gallery we have had to replace the bridge, as the builders didn’t think it could be trusted to bear the weight of the cement and aggregate delivery lorries given that we didn’t know exactly how it was constructed, other than that it appeared to be a cast concrete slab sitting on concrete piers.  So, in short order, it was demolished.

Mind the gap

Mind the Gap

Demolition revealed that replacement was a good idea.  You would expect to find some reinforcing mesh in a concrete slab such as that which formed the bridge.  The only signs of any steel whatsoever was what appeared to be a car or trailer chassis that had been set such that it sat on the concrete piers on either side, but otherwise did little to hold the slab together and help resist the tensile forces that cause such structures to fail.  Truth be told it was an accident waiting to happen and is best buried under what will be the car park…

Te Gap Filled

The Gap Filled

As you can see, the new bridge is formed from culvert piping with concrete on top.  What you can’t see are the two steel girders sitting on the piers a lorry axle’s width apart, and the steel reinforcing mesh that was missing in the old bridge.  In due course we will think about putting up some form of side rails, when the rest of the building work is done, and we are landscaping.

The concrete was poured last Thursday: on Friday morning there was a set of cat paw prints leading across the bridge away from the house.  Piano was in the house all the time: Puzzle was in the house all the time.  If anyone in Ose sees a cat with concrete boots on, let me know.  Piano says cats with concrete boots sleep with the fish (and not from a Whiskas tin…)

Currently listening to: Ashore – June Tabor


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