It is the end of week 6 here for us in Rwanda, and things are getting really exciting because we have our bridge inauguration scheduled for this coming Friday.
Last week we completed the approach walls by filling them in with rock and pouring concrete on top to create the walkway ramps. This officially marked the end of moving and mixing the endless amounts of rock and concrete that went into the foundations, tiers, anchors, and approach walls! We also started landscaping around the site, which involved getting rid of the concrete mixing stations and the huge mounds of dirt and clay that were still present from excavation.
Our last task is to complete the decking and fencing. We have not yet completed these tasks because we have been waiting for the power tools to cut the wood and screw in the decking. The tools were being used by the CH2M Hill corporate team that was working on a suspension bridge here in a different province of Rwanda. Their bridge was inaugurated last Friday and we were invited to join because we had fabricated all of the crossbeams and components that went into the towers of their bridge. Their inauguration was a lot of fun, there was lots of dancing and eating. It was awesome hearing about how big of an impact the bridge will have on the community, as the town leaders spoke out about the issues they have been having like flooding and getting stranded on either side for days at a time. They mentioned that there have been several deaths that have been occuring every year and that many children do not even go to school because it is so dangerous to cross. I know this bridge is going to change the lives of many people in Gasura.
We have also been working on a video of our experience and it is coming along well. I have a drone with me that I attach a Go Pro to in order to get aerial shots of the bridge and the surrounding areas. All the kids go crazy whenever I show up to the site with the big red bag I keep it in. It is awesome reviewing the footage, and I cant wait to get the video together.
Here are some pictures from the inauguration. We have tons of other great photos, but I was not able to upload them in time for this post. I will try to get them up later this week.