Story and Photos by: Barry L Lenderman
CPT Bradley and 1SG Ireland led ten HHD Soldiers (nine NCOs and one 2LT) on a community service project on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 to replace dilapidated steps at Radcliff City Park – Saunders Springs.
This wooded trail contains 163 steps made from sections of crossties and secured with rebar. The steps will be part of a trail that JROTC Cadets will use during the 5K Raider Challenge in November.
Coordination was made with the city of Radcliff and the G3/G4 (Mr. Lipsey) to replace the broken/rotted out steps so it will be safe for these Cadets and community hikers that will and do utilize the steps.
Resources were supplied by Fort Knox USACC G4 and the city of Radcliff. A majority of the manpower came from the HHD Soldiers with assistance from Radcliff city employees.
Soldiers extracted the old steps and replaced with approximately 40 three-foot sections of new crossties that had holes drilled in them where a 24” rebar stake was driven into the ground to secure them in place. To put the new steps in place took a lot of time/effort to accomplish. Soldiers had to carry the heavy new crosstie sections from the trailer to where it would be installed, which was at the longest distance of approximately 400 meters as a vehicle or cart was not possible to traverse due to the slope of the hill, the width of the path and undergrowth. Details of the install included having to level a spot to place the new step with a pick axe and a shovel in rocky/tree root present earth. The steps were put into place with the piece of rebar pounded down through the hole in the crosstie into the ground using a ten-pound sledge hammer. Many pieces of rebar stuck above the ground in the still usable steps, which were pounded flush to prevent a possible mishap. Soldiers also carried several 5-gallon buckets of #57 rock (approximately 60 lbs each) to pack the steps into place, leveling it off and protect from water run-off, and to make the path a little easier to negotiate in lieu of mud during the rainy season.
The city of Radcliff will clear the undergrowth off the path to make it cleaner and easier to travel when hiking.
This mission was conducted with safety in mind to prevent mishaps to the Soldiers to include frequent (work/rest) water breaks.