Day 13 – Inauguration day

14th June

The day is finally here, it’s hard to believe so much has happened in the last week and a half!

Tired with lack of sleep and the physical effort over the last few days, yet  with real anticipation we drove down to site early. Today was to be a full day of  speeches dances and celebrations.  Well not quite. We’ve discovered that not everything runs to time here, and today was no exception. The MC finally started up a full three hours after the scheduled 9am start. But hey, what’s three hours between friends, and what followed was well worth the wait.

There were lengthy and lively speeches from local politicians and from bridge committee members. There were poems and dances from local schoolchildren, there was dancing with locals and even a mock (thank god) circumcision ceremony, though I can’t for the life of me think why this was appropriate.  The ceremony concluded with a procession to open the bridge officially and it was like nothing I’ve seen before.  Hundreds of people crossing the bridge, watching and enjoying the day.

It was the perfect conclusion to our project. We came here to build a bridge that would radically transform and improve the lives of the community. Today we saw clearly the impact our work will have, and how appreciative everyone was. Bridges always bring people together, and we always have a sense of pride in our role in creating lasting engineering structures, but seldom do we get to appreciate the impact they have , close up, face to face. Wonderful!

namawakulu bridge
The team, on the bridge, without the rain, for once!
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Day 10 (11th June)

Yesterday was rest day, much needed after an exhausting 6 days last week

Our planned activities for today were checking and correcting the sag differential between the two cables by re-winching to tighten or loosen the cables as appropriate. The second planned task was pouring of the concrete infill slab at the far end of the bridge. Continue reading “Day 10 (11th June)”

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Meet the team

TeamXavier Echegaray Jaile
Role: Bridge Design Engineer
Role at Bridge Site: Project Lead

Xavier is a passionate Bridge Engineer with over 4 years of professional experience. He gained a first-class 5-year MEng degree at UPC Barcelona Tech. and is currently the PM and Design Lead for several bridge projects. Born in Catalonia, Xavier has lived in Mallorca, Mexico, Barcelona and London. A keen sailor and scuba diver since he was young, he has travelled across the Mediterranean Sea and has developed a great taste for adventure.

Edward Fraser
Role: Graduate Engineer
Role at Bridge Site: Communications Coordinator

Edward is a Graduate Engineer for Ramboll and has been working in the bridges team for one and a half years. He’s been involved in a variety of projects including structural design and assessment bridges, gantries and pumping stations. Prior to this he studied an MEng in Civil Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, completing a year-long placement with Prysmian Cables and a summer placement with Ramboll.  In his spare time, he likes to travel and to play sports, and this project will be the first time he leaves Europe!

Tim Prosser
Role: Managing Consultant, Environment Health and Safety (EHS)
Role at Bridge Site: Safety Manager

Tim is an EHS specialist with 12 years’ experience managing global compliance and due diligence projects to help clients realise their EHS goals. Tim has proudly led corporate charitable initiatives in the past and is excited about continuing this with Bridges to Prosperity. Tim’s passions including travelling, football, fishing and photography.

Wojciech Szewczak
Role: Bridge Engineer
Role at Bridge Site: Logistics Lead

Wojciech is a bridge engineer with 4 years of experience in the civil engineering industry. He has earned a civil engineering degree from Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland, completed an international internship at University of Minho in Portugal and worked on multidisciplinary engineering projects in the Algeria, Denmark, Hong Kong, UK and US.

Eddie Leach
Role: Bridge Engineer
Uganda Project Role: Construction Manager

Eddie is a passionate Bridge Engineer with over 5 years’ experience. He has worked on various bridge designs, internationally in Norway and on a construction site. Eddie was born in Mexico, is an avid cyclist and skier. Eddie plans to arrange a 2-week cycling trip across France this summer.

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