West Point engineering instructor, Colonel Brad Wambeke and his daughter Emilie stepped in to construct a new trail bridge at Fahnestock State Park, after the cadet students who designed it were forced to cut their on-campus school year short due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
This was the third year of a partnership between the United States Military Academy, the Open Space Institute and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Each year they've replaced a trail bridge in the increasingly popular park across the Hudson River from West Point through which the Appalachian Trail runs.
Design and construction of the bridges is one type of capstone project for civil engineering cadets at USMA. However, the construction phase for this year's bridge on the School Mountain trail was put on hold when the COVID-19 outbreak accelerated in New York and schools, businesses and parks shut down.
While the engineering students designed the bridge and prefabricated several of its pieces, they were unable to construct it before being sent home in the spring. Read more.