ExpiredBridge Building Part 1 – Site Prep (1 Day) – August 26, 2018 (Mont Vernon, NH)

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  • Bridge Site Prep (8/26/18)
    August 26, 2018
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Certified instructor: Brian Post

Up to 12 participants. Open to those who have taken required prerequisite courses only.

This workshop will be the start of building the bridge.  Participants build the bridge abutments, start the wing walls, get the form for the arch in place, and aim to finish the day by setting the springers in place.  Whether that sounds like giberish or fun, workshop participants of novice to advanced levels will have a tremendous learning experience and be challenged in many ways!

Participants arrive on site with much of the below grade work done.  They will learn what was done and why, and how variations in site conditions might inform other foundation work.

Building the bridge abutments will be the first task.  Each abutment wall will need to be built carefully so it can support the forces that the bridge will place on it.  Learning how to tie into the wing walls will also be important.  The different corners of the abutments will involve at least 3 different configurations.  The stone has been carefully chosen to be reasonable to work with for participants.

Once abutments are in place, the wooden form for the arch will be placed and leveled.

Setting the springers (skewbacks) is expected to be the final task of the day.  In this case these are large stones that will need careful maneuvering and in some cases will be set by machine.    The springers support all the weight and force created by the arch so care is needed to ensure structural integrity.

As additional time allows more of the wing walls will be built and stone for other parts of the bridge will be dressed (shaped).

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Learn math behind designing a bridge
  • Learn what is required for the foundation and abutments.
  • Gain an understanding for the design choices related to the surrounding soils, intended bridge use, and site constraints.
  • Learn and practice techniques for safely moving large stone.
  • Learn and refine shaping techniques
  • Improve your walling skills where structure is critical

Participants for this course should have already taken at least and introductory walling workshop.  For those who have not already taken one, there is an introductory course the day before at the same location.  Click here for more.


*Please note if you encounter errors or problems while registering please email Brian Post or call (802) 490-9607, so we can correct the problem, and improve our registration process.

Pair this workshop with the One day introductory walling workshop August 25th at the same site

Don’t forget to also register for the Bridge Building Workshop – Sept 8-9.  Be part of the team that completes the arch, and bridge.  It is not to be missed!

Also check out the Historic Bridge Tour on Sept 7.  See 11 historic dry stone arch bridges with expert guides.  Just $75.

Site and soil conditions play a huge factor in what is needed for foundation work. As shown in the photo, this site has top soil, a layer of sand, and then hard pan clay. Find out what is best for this site and others but taking this workshop.
Pete Ryder expaining the forces involved in an arched bridge
Shaping springer stones from boulders.

Landscape Architects receive 7.5 credit hours for taking this workshop through the LA CES system.

About The Instructors:

Dan Snow

DAN SNOW is an art maker specializing is dry stone constructions. He has been building with stone since 1972.

Brian Post

BRIAN POST, a Certified DSWA-GB Master Craftsman and Licensed Landscape Architect, started building walls at age 10…


2 Lamson Road, Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, 03057, United States


Work on rebuilding historic walls and adding new stone features to this historic Southern NH Property.  This is the site of the 2017 bridge build.  Field stone from the property and quarried ledge stone are both used on this site for training.