Nicol Road Bridge Guardrail Project

Preserving a portion of a beautiful bridge.


As much as I wanted to save the entire Nicol Road Bridge from the dumpster, I just didn't have the resources to do it. Thanks to the contractors who were tearing the bridge down, I was able to end up with the the lattice guardrails from the bridge, however. A friend of mine, by the name of Luke Gordon had a use for the railings on a private bridge. This private bridge is more than your average back-yard bridge. It is designed to handle a car, and has a concrete deck and is a steel beam bridge. It has no railings, and so Luke thought that it would be nice to put the nice lattice guardrails from Nicol Road on this otherwise ugly bridge. Once I got the railings, the quest to create this small memorial to the Nicol Road Bridge began. Since this is a project that Luke is doing on the side, the progress is slow but steady.

Luke is skilled in the areas of metalwork such as cutting, welding, and sandblasting, all of which I have no clue how to do! I have helped him a bit by painting, holding, and moving the various parts of the railings, so you might consider this a one-and-a-half man project. I have also been photo-documenting the whole project.

Part 1: Experimentation

 Above: Sandblasting the guardrail.

Below: The painted guardrail.

We were not sure what we were dealing with here, nor how everything would go. Luke had decided that the ends of the sections of guardrails should be straight not angled, for our needs. The railings originally had an angle to them at the end, because they had to line up with the endpost of the bridge. He took one of the end sections of guardrail and cut the angled section off. Luke then sandblasted it and we painted it, so we could see how the paint went on and how it would dry, etc.

Part 2: Cutting and Welding

 Above: Cutting one of the angles off.

Below: The first two images show the welding in progress. The last image shows the result, as well as a section of lattice ready to be welded together.

Pleased with the way the test piece looked, Luke continued by cutting the angles off of the remaining sections. He reused pieces off of the cut angle to weld on an edge on the end he cut off. This was accomplished through arc welding. Some of the lattice on the railings had been damaged by cars while on the Nicol Road Bridge, and he repaired that by welding the lattice together where it was needed.