This past May, we traveled for 3 weeks to complete the bridge. We brought down two teams of students for the first and second part of the trip. The first week and a half consisted on intense manual labor: excavation, concrete mixing and pouring, and cable cutting. We also met with community leaders and members to discuss bridge maintenance and possible future projects. The second part of the trip revolved around more technical aspects such as cable sag setting, alignment, and decking installation.
We're very happy to say that we were able to stay on schedule and finish the bridge before the rains got really bad. In fact, the day we finished decking it poured and the next day everybody had to cross through the bridge since the water level was high and flowing by really fast.
We had our bridge inauguration ceremony on May 24th and the major of Matagalpa was able to join us and speak about the benefits of this project. We really enjoyed working with the community leaders since they genuinely care about the future of their barrio. Some of them are already working with the major's office on water distribution and storm water management projects. We hope to be able to work with them in the future on either water or electricity projects.
Now that we have completed this project, we will keep in contact with the community in order to ensure proper bridge maintenance. We left them five copies of the translated Bridges to Prosperity bridge Maintenance manual and the major's office also pledged to support in maintenance work.
We want to thank all our donors and supporting organizations such as Bridges to Prosperity and CH2M-Hill. Any donations that come in from this point on will go towards our future projects in the region, or one of our other two open projects in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Please see www.ewb.rice.edu for more information.
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