Achieving the First Milestone—Tower Erection

Achieving the First Milestone—Tower Erection

June 30, 2016

Authored on June 22, 2016, by Tommy Ward, an engineer in CH2M’s Glasgow, Scotland office.

27316212464_c9be2ee012_o 27316208534_7b1e85c09f_o 27316203194_fc8346b5b8_o 27316200044_af178c4c91_oToday was our third full working day on the bridge and a key milestone—today we raised the towers. For the first time I think the group are starting to see why we are here, realize what we are achieving and the important reasons for the bridge.

Our day started with ensuring the towers, cables and cross beams were all set correctly and checked to ensure the lift could be done safely and efficiently. Working as a team, along with our colleagues from the community, the towers were pulled into place and positioned just before mid-morning awaiting the suspension cables. This was a pretty cool feat not just of engineering and construction, given the site location and the limited materials available, but also of teamwork and communication from a group of individuals had not met until four days ago.

The rest of our day was spent pulling the cables between the towers in preparation of forming the crossing. This task also required the entire team’s efforts and spirit to make sure success could be achieved.

After a very hot and humid morning on site, late afternoon brought our first thunderstorm of the trip, the first real downpour we have experienced since starting work on site – however this didn’t stop our efforts and motivation. The team were keen to continue and complete their task in the rain before returning to base for dinner.

My experience so far has highlighted a few important things.

Firstly, the effort and enthusiasm the local community bring to the build, not only the physical labour they offer – every day they turn up at the morning briefing and remain there through the end of each day—but also their eagerness and willingness to support and be part of the build team.DSCN5244

However our team would not function or perform without the food and service being provided by Fatima, the wife of Ivan the Foreman. In a small simply-built shack, each day Fatima provides three warm, wholesome and tasty meals and drinks for around 20 people. Given where we are and what she has to work with, it’s almost a miracle what she can achieve – she does this each and every day with a smile on her face and with no complaints. For this we are eternally thankful.

Finally, the warmth and welcome the community has offered our team – they are genuinely happy to have us around and each evening after dinner we are normally joined by a small group of kids from the community to play dominos, cards, Uno and enjoy some of the treats the team has brought from home.

So far all is good – the team are working hard and I know everyone is enjoying the experience.

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June 2016

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