Tuesday, March 29, 2011

El Mongual Bridge Project - starting to move the beam

As you probably recall, two huge beams were fabricated for the bridge in El Mongual. The beams had to be moved into place on the riverbed at the foot of the supporting walls, and then lifted up to sit on top of the walls. Just to keep things confusing, some of the pictures I'll post will be from the moving of the first beam, and some will be from the second. I didn't have a photographer there every day of this long project, so that's the way it is. The picture at the top shows the first beam already in place across the river, and the front end loader dragging the second beam toward the river, using logs as rollers under the beam. Easy, right? No, I know you know that nothing comes easy here. This post will show some of the work of getting ready for the moving of the first beam:


Some dirt was dug out from under the beam.




Logs were collected from downed trees.




Cable had to be connected from the front end loader to the beam.




After several tries, it was determined that the best way to connect the cable to the machine was to weld a metal post to the bucket, and put the cable around the post.


Here's the very first lift, just barely lifting the beam up off the ground.


Impressive, huh? Yes, it's just the teensiest bit off the ground.


With the weight of one end of the beam lifted a bit, more work is done to clean out under the beam.



More dirt is dug out from under the beam, the wall panels which were under the beam are pulled out, and stacks of lumber are used to prop up the beam, so that the machine can lift it up a bit more. Henri, in this picture, is signaling to Russell, who is at the controls of the front end loader.



Progress is being made.


This is enough pictures for one post. More to come.

2 comments:

Beth said...

Tenacity, ingenuity, and great patience are obviously needed to do engineering projects in the Third World!
Wow! Way to go Allen, Russell, and the rest of the team!
Reminds me of the pyramids or Solomon's temple...I am very impressed! And praying for safety!!

Jennifer said...

Wow! That is quite the feat of both ingenuity and hard labor.