Day 3 – Scaffolding Tower set up
Our first full day on the site of the bridge. After a 5.45 alarm call courtesy of the local rooster, followed by a hearty breakfast of omelette, bread and coffee, we made our way to the site.
It was the first time the full construction teams (Ramboll, the B2P team and the 20+ committee members) met up. Roser led the warm up with stretches before a construction brief by Sulabth. Anthony gave the important health and safety speech, necessarily using body language to maximum effect.
We organised ourselves into teams, with Gustav sorting out the shed, Roser and Anthony sorting out the suspension cables whilst Sulabth and I supervised the transportation of scaffolding to the abutment.
Next step was erecting the 4 level scaffolding Tower on both sides of the river. With Anthony’s training in working at heights, he was a natural to lead this process. Meanwhile the rest of us focused on connecting the tower on the other side of the river with increased difficulty because the it’s located on an inclined ramp.
We managed to complete 90% of the work but we were slowed down by heavy late afternoon rain, which eventually forced us to pack up for the day before darkness set in. Despite the heavy rain our activities were witnessed by large crowds. We were joined by dozens of schoolkids quietly standing and observing our every move.
Day 4 – East Tower erection and much more
A really productive day today. We have erected the east tower, we’ve got approximately 30% of the deck ready and tanks to Gustav’s efforts we now have 50% of the suspender cables precisely measured, cut and now ready to be bent. The scaffolding towers were completed early in the day and Sulabh completed the west tower bracing and connection.
Roser and I set up a nailing and timber cutting station. Interestingly we had to train the locals on safely using power tools. Understandably they lacked confidence at first but it was great to see their confidence grow and become fully competent by the end of the day.
We’re all learning on the job and becoming more efficient. While yesterday saw locals spending a fair amount of time awaiting instruction, today we managed and distributed the team much better with each of us leading 5 to 6 locals on specific tasks. Lean manufacturing? Getting there!
With each day we’re interacting and communicating more with locals and hearing their stories. The bridge we’re replacing connects two sides of the 2,000+ community and acts as main access to school market and church. We were told that during monsoon season (normally April), the water level rises to a 40m wide and 3m deep torrent. This can mean a lengthy wait to cross as there’s no alternative routes. Which is, of course, why we’re doing this.