Thursday, March 31, 2011

El Mongual Bridge Project - now we're rolling along!

This post will give you some idea of the actual process of moving the beams, on the log rollers, into position across the river, at the foot of the support walls.

The picture above shows the hill down which the beams had to travel. On the right side of the picture is a building with a fenced yard (you can see one of the fence posts leaning over). That's the yard where the beams were made, and so it was the starting point of the short but difficult journey.

The second picture is taken from the yard where the beams sat, looking down the path they took to the river. Upon reaching the river, the beams had to be moved into place between the two support walls, so that they could then be elevated into place on the walls.

The following pictures will show the journey of the second beam (you can see the first beam sitting atop the support walls):

Russell, driving the front end loader, pulls the beam down the hill toward the river.

Frequent adjustments had to be made to the rollers and to the path. At times, the progress in an hour would be less than a yard.

As the beam heads into the riverbed, it must be turned to manipulate it into the space between the walls. More log adjusting is required, of course. Adjusting logs while a 20 ton beam sits on top of them isn't a quick or simple process!

The soft, damp soil at the edge of the river made it necessary for the men to create a "roadbed" for the rollers, so they wouldn't bog down.

Manipulating the beam into place by the wall was another challenge. With the first beam in place, Russell was working in tight quarters, as he maneuvered the second beam around while the first beam was in his way.

With the beam basically in place, it was time to lift it up onto the top of the 9 foot high walls. Those pictures will come soon.


Anonymous said...

The patience of this team is almost "unamerican"! ;). What an accomplishment!
Jane McSweeney

Cindy in California said...

Wow! This is amazing. Thank you for your detailed explainations and photos. May God bless you for what you are doing to help the people who need this bridge.

Jennifer said...

The workers must have been exhausted at each day's end.