Days 11-12 Getting the job done (in the rain)

12th June

There’s much still to do before inauguration of the bridge in only three days time. There seems to be no let up in the oppressive humid weather, and lengthy torrential tropical downpours continually delay progress. But that’s what we signed for.

We’re focusing on the fencing today. We manage this by the team carrying fencing onto deck  and then sliding it into position. We had to drill the wooden kerbs at the base of the fence and screw these into the deck. It’s an unusual technique but made necessary by the peculiar geography. It involves a massive team effort, and the first time B2P have used this method for installing fencing.

Wojciech and Eddie checking slope stability monitoring with wooden stakes.  B2P were keen to make the most of Ramboll’s view on the geotechnical issues on site so this a way we could really help them out.

After lunch a lengthy period of heavy rain kept us in the tent for a while and we all made the most of this, period to have a rest.  Once the rain let up slightly the community workers got back outside and started work on backfilling the nearside abutment with large rocks.

backfilling the abutment with large rocks

Meanwhile we set about bending the wire fence over the hand rail cable. again this was a big team effort and requires a lot of coordination from the team.

13th June

Today is the day that we must finish everything on the bridge ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration. It was a great day when everyone really pulled together and put in an olympic sized effort to get the job done.

Final tasks included backfilling with rock the right hand side cable pit and pouring the infill slab. Fortunately this didn’t take nearly as long as the other side because we the concrete mixer was a lot closer to the pit. The fencing had to be bent and tied with small cable ties to hold it in place.

Namawakulu bridge - Concreting RHS Slab
Concreting RHS slab

A lot of other small tasks had to be completed including fixing wooden treads to the bridge, cutting off dangerous point rebar ends and trying to do all this during a familiar Ugandan downpour in the middle of the day.

Fencing bent and held in place with small cable ties

As light started to fade it slowly dawned on us that we had done it. Finished! Euphoric, yet utterly exhausted we made our way home to rest. Well not quite. With job done we were joined by all our coworkers at the homestay for celebratory beers, laughs, music, and a chance for them to show us some funky dance moves! Needless to say I was too tired…

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