Days 12-14 – Completion

Visiting the school Image: Ramboll

Jian Fong

Finishing the bridge

Today we woke up fresh at 6am after our 8 hours sleep. After our usual warm up and construction briefing we started off installing the fencing by connecting it to the deck.

We initially estimated that this would take half a day but soon realised that the tops of the fencing were quite sharp and sticking out, this is likely to hurt the pedestrian and no suitable handrails material are available. As a result, we ended up spending the afternoon twisting the top of the fencing to ensure the sharp ends are pointed inwards and safe for users. Continue reading “Days 12-14 – Completion”

Day 10 – 11 The end is in sight

Day 10

Weather 30 degrees!

We started installing the decking today. All of us had a safety briefing and the chance to harness up and install the decking. The view was indeed nice up there!

The 2m hardwood decking planks are really heavy and the bridge was fairly unstable before attaching to the abutments. This is why we had to take extra care despite having the harness connected to the safety line.

There are only 4 self-retracting lanyards available and 2 person started from the East and west tower respectively. Continue reading “Day 10 – 11 The end is in sight”

Days 5-8 Getting into gear

It's starting to look like a bridge


Jian Fong

Day 5 – Progress, progress and more progress

The team made fantastic progress today. We were able to achieve 100 percent of what we wanted to achieve and it’s not often you can say that. Main progress include erection of the west tower, getting all the deck cut into correct sizes and painted. 30 percent of the suspenders bars are now bended, and 40 percent of the cross beam bolted to the nailer.

Roser and Gustav had a first try on climbing the scaffolding tower where they assisted in hoisting the main cables through the tower. With the absence of heavy machinery, we were astonished by how communication, teamwork and and effort could achieve the same result. Continue reading “Days 5-8 Getting into gear”

Day 3 and 4

Planning the day's activities image: Ramboll

Jian Fong

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.

Morning briefing Image: Ramboll
Morning briefing

Continue reading “Day 3 and 4”

Day 1 and 2 – Journey and arrival

The Ramboll team meet up with Mariale from B2P in Kigali

Jian Fong

Sunday evening and we are all finally here at Gashyushya, a two hour drive out of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. We’ve just had a lovely dinner prepared by the full B2P team where we went through the construction sequence with the core team and get ready for a 7am start tomorrow.

The journey for me began first thing on Saturday morning with a short flight across to Amsterdam airport where I met the rest of the European contingent. I joined up with Roser from Copenhagen, Anthony from Helsinki and Gustav from Gothenburg. The final member of the Rambol group, Sulabh from Gurugram office in India, would meet up with us in Kigali. More on the team here Continue reading “Day 1 and 2 – Journey and arrival”

Meet Ramboll’s Gashyushya team

The Ramboll team comes from across Europe and India. They represent the breadth and depth of expertise across Ramboll, united by a determination to use their skills to make a difference.

Name: Roser Marrè Badalló
Role: Senior Engineer
Role at Bridge Site: Project Lead

Roser is a Structural Engineer from Barcelona with over 5 years of professional experience. She has a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from UPC Barcelona Tech and did an exchange year in KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. She moved to Copenhagen 4 years ago in order to pursue her dream of designing bridges. At Rambøll, she has designed bridges and wind turbine foundations, and her role includes structural design, as well as technical support and coordination of teams in India. Continue reading “Meet Ramboll’s Gashyushya team”

Gashyushya, Rwanda 2019

What if every single day you had to send your kids to school knowing there was a chance that they wouldn’t make it back home? Or what if going to the market during the rainy season was potentially a life or death decision?

Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality of the Murama and Munini communities in Gashyushya, Rwanda, where the Makurungwe river frequently floods for days at a time, causing injuries or death for people who attempt to cross.

Explore location in more detail here

In September 2019, a team of five Ramboll engineers from across Europe and India will travel to Rwanda together with the NGO “Bridges to Prosperity” (B2P), to help build a suspension bridge across the river, providing safe year-round access for the local communities. This is the second such occasion we have partnered BTP, following on form the Namawukulu footbridge in eastern Uganda in 2018.

This blog captures the experience of the engineers as they work alongside locals and Bridges to Prosperity experts to complete this vital footbridge in the limited time available.

Uganda 2018

Ramboll is proud to partner Bridges to Prosperity. In our first project with B2P, 5 young bridge engineers journeyed out to remote eastern Uganda, alongside a team from IABSE. Their mission: to create a footbridge across the Ngame river in 2 weeks. Regular flooding means that the existing ford was impassable for about 30 days a year. The footbridge we created keeps the communities of LHS Mamawukulu, Bumbiman RHS Kishambua and Malandu connected year round, improving the lives of residents immeasurably.

This blog tells the story of this inaugural project as it unfolded. You can find more details on the project, the design and the outcome on the Ramboll website.