Large creations, like the garden or the houses, are best designed on paper or with models. They are well-suited to a 2-dimensional map, floorplan, or elevation. I find projects that fit around the body, like furniture or this bridge, are easier to design with three-dimensional pictures in my head.
|I began visualizing the bridge by experimenting with various lengths and widths of planks. I needed the deck to be long enough to allow supports back from the pond so the banks didn't crumble. I then decided to extend the bridge a foot on each end of the supports. That made the length ten feet.||
Walking across the planks, I decided I wanted a narrow deck, with railings that flared out. The bridge supports could also be the railing supports.
We had recently visited a Japanese garden and seen lengths of bamboo between cedar 2x4 railings and and base plates. Holes were drilled part way through the boards to hold the bamboo pieces. I decided the holes in the flared railings could go all the way through, allowing for different lenghts bamboo across the bridge. Small lag bolts in the deck fit inside the bamboo tubes, providing a better hold than a shallow hole. This system also allows for easy replacement.
Supports: 4x4 treated fence posts, with 2x6 treated joists
Rails: 5/4 x 4 cedar decking