Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Bridge Construction Project - it's moving forward again!

We've experienced months of  inactivity with the current bridge construction project - the huge one in Las Flores. There were funding issues and other delays regarding the rental of the two large cranes for lifting the beams into place. Once that was completed, there were additional funding issues. We had put some of our own money into the project, to keep things going, but eventually that had to stop, and we waited for the government to release additional funds to keep the construction on track.

For many months this year we worked on the construction of our personal residence, since we had some money set aside for that, and our construction crew wasn't working on anything else.

I'm still in Maryland right now, of course, so I didn't really know what the menfolk were doing with their time . . . until one of our good friends from MD, who is a recurrent guest and a full-of-fun part-time-missionary, posted some photos of the bridge project on his Facebook page!

Yay! Looks like some of the government money has come through, and construction has been going forward. Here are some of the photos, which I stole off Benjamin Dearing's page. I hope he'll forgive me!

These first photos show the guys from our crew, installing a webbing of rebar. This metal will be inside the poured concrete, adding strength to the deck of the bridge.










After all of the wall panels are in place (wall panels are used to create the "mold" for the concrete pour), and the gazillions of pieces of rebar are secured in their places, comes the Pour Day, when we actually mix up the concrete and pour it into those forms! The local communities send workers to help on these days when a really large amount of work needs to be completed within a single day. Our trained crew handles the mixers and deals with the parts of the job that require more knowledge, and the local volunteers mostly move vast quantities of materials around in five gallon buckets! Here - in no particular order - are some photos from a big pour day which took place during Benjamin's visit.
















Below are photos of the completed section of the concrete deck of the bridge!







And, for contrast, photos of the current bridge, which is still carrying vehicle traffic across this river:




For this final set of photos, you have to remember how the bridge looked before the deck part was added . . . just sets of huge beams balanced across support piers. Some of the work on the deck involved men having access to the underneath side of the deck, so a scaffold was constructed and men worked way up in the air on rather scary-looking pieces of lumber wedged between the beams. Here are some photos of this . . 




Thanks so much, Benjamin, for these pictures! I hope you enjoyed your stay in Honduras!

Isn't this exciting?!?!?!

5 comments:

Cindy in GA said...

That IS exciting (and wow, those last pics were scary!)! So glad to see things moving forward on the project. \o/ Yea!!

Pam Llewellyn said...

Whew..... I don't like the looks of those last few pictures, either. Too scary for me to attempt.

BTW, on the day we left Gracias, Kirstin drove us by the bridge site, and I actually walked several feet out onto that rickety old bridge -- and immediately came back. I did NOT like the way it looked or felt under my feet. It scares me to death to think of driving a vehicle over it!! Yikes!!

stephanie said...

Love the photos, Trish! What amazing progress.

Anonymous said...

Nice! I'm certainly glad I'm watching the progress from a computer screen - instead of from beneath the beams myself. :) Great progress! Josey

Laurie Matherne said...

Amazing photos, Trish. Thanks for sharing. You know, I wonder if lots of people are confused about "ministry." Ministry means hard work often times. I have friends who only want to preach, play music or pray for people. I cook for the multitudes sometimes, and almost ways, I am the only one shopping and carrying big packages of food for everyone. That's ministry, too. Probably much more important than my occasional pep talks!