Now, here is the day-by-day play-by-play, of the week of construction.
On Saturday, January 23rd, Allen, Russell, and Clay were waiting in the airport in San Pedro Sula, a 3 - 4 hour drive from Gracias, to pick up the incoming team. As the team was through customs and loading into our vehicles at around 3:30, the rest of the day involved just finishing the trip to Gracias.
|This huge hole, under the landing, is an important |
structural element. When filled with cement,
the immense weight will keep the whole bridge
from collapsing into the river from the tension
of the cables.
|With the huge hole, in the photo above, filled with |
concrete and stones, these short wall forms were
added, and the weldments were set in place, ready
for the addition of more concrete.
|A finished landing, awaiting side walls. The |
weldments protrude from the side, and the pieces of
rebar sticking up into the air will connect the
side walls to the landing.
By the end of the day the footers and floor of the landing of the bridge on the Platanares side had been poured, with the appropriate weldments embedded in the concrete.
|Volunteers mixed LOTS of concrete down by the|
river, and carried it up to the landing sites in
five gallon bucketloads.
|Side rails, showing the weldments where|
the side cables will be attached
On Tuesday, the railings (with their embedded weldments) were poured on the Santa Rosita side of the river. While that was happening, on the other side of the river the spools of cable were being unrolled, and as each cable left its spool, it was walked down a cliff, over the river, and up the other (less steep) side. Then the end of the cable which left the spool last, was connected to the weldments on the Platanares side of the river - where the landing and railings had been completed already. The bridge required a total of 10 cables - 4 under the deck and three cables on each side of the bridge.
|Cables, lying on the ground from one side of the |
river to the other, waiting to be connected
|Steve Spanos, bravely leading his team|
With all ten cables attached and tightened, the workers began the task of adding the crossways beams, and then nailing on the planks which make up the deck of the bridge.
|In this photo you can see the beams,|
going across the bridge from side to
side, the deck planks, on top of the
beams, and the suspenders, which are
short vertical pieces of cable attaching
the side cables to the cables below the
deck of the bridge.
|The finished bridge!|
|US team standing on finished bridge|