LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Eagle Scout Candidate Asks For Your Help To Build Bridge On Town Forest Trail

Dear Editor,

I am Shaun Bradford and I have been a Boy Scout in Troop 56 Wilmington MA for 7 years, serving as a Patrol Leader for 1 year and as a Den Chief for a Cub Scout Pack for 3 years. I am a Life Scout and need to complete an Eagle Scout project to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

When I asked my Town Conservation Department what project would most benefit the Town, I was told about a trail in the Town forest which is impassable for 3 months a year. This main trail crosses through a wetland area which floods from early spring thru early summer. The depth of flooding will require a bridge 100 feet long which needs a lot of materials to be built. The completion of the bridge will help the beneficiary Camp 40 Acres and any individual who uses the bridge while hiking or walking across land that would otherwise be flooded. I will start the physical project in early October and finish by the end of October.

In the 5 months of preparation leading to this point I have had a site visit with the the conservation department where I laid out the bridge location and got heights at various points using a string on stakes, string line-level, engineering ruler for bridge heights above ground/muck, and 100 foot measuring tape.

Using this information I drew the proposed bridge plan and profile in CAD and determined the bridge support locations and heights. I have visited other bridges in the area to get details on their construction,  received pictures and measurements from hikers at other bridges, chosen the best elements of each design, calculated the quantities of materials needed, and ran it by a family member who does building construction.

I have contacted several lumber stores and negotiated purchase of the materials for the store’s at-cost costs delivered. I have prepared a Notice of Intent thru the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, sent notices by certified mail to all abutters as required by law, and attended the conservation committee meeting for my project. At that meeting earlier this month, I explained the project to the board and audience using a poster board showing work to-date and my proposed design. The project was given approval (top picture).

The remaining hurdle is to raise funds for this 100 foot long bridge project, hopefully very soon so that I can build the bridge in the best weather possible. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated and go a long way towards my goal of not only building this bridge, but of attaining the rank of Eagle Scout as well.

Please consider making a donation at my project’s GoFundMe page HERE.


Shaun Bradford

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