First-Aid, Food, and Finessing Cables

First-Aid, Food, and Finessing Cables

August 14, 2015

Authored August 8, 2015 by team construction manager Tim McCarthy.

Today we shifted gears. We didn’t quite get the cable sag set yesterday, so that was big time for today and Marlon’s feet were swollen, which was even bigger time.

My Spanish abilities and first-aid training were called into action to accompany Marlon to a health care clinic in Matiguas, about half an hour from the site. Juan Ramon drove us to the clinic and offered to stay with us (understanding construction terms is tough enough by try understanding medical terms in Spanish), we took him up on his offer. After a 7:50 a.m. arrival, Marlon was examined and given 3 prescriptions—all by 8:30 a.m. when they sent us on our way.

Juan Ramon also had our shopping duties for the day: stops at an outdoor fruit market, a place for ice, another for cheese, another for water, and a couple more stops. We’d be lost without him. I remember our first day shopping as a group in a big supermarket—we had enough trouble figuring out where to find anything in a big place with everything under one roof, much less in a town with about 100 small shops that also are the homes of the residents.


With the sag set it’s time to start hanging crossbeams.

Meanwhile back at the jobsite, cable sag was taking some time, but seemed to be getting close. It’s key to note that all 6 cables run parallel to each other to hold equal loading (they are not threaded together in any way), so this has to be done carefully, with several re-sets possible for each cable. This is done by noon, and we can start hanging suspenders and crossbeams in the afternoon. This is a great team effort with the support of several locals. I’ve enjoyed working with them, as they show enthusiasm for doing the work and also for learning how things are done.

Starting to hang suspenders.

Starting to hang suspenders.

I have some time at the end of the shift to do an interview with one of the residents in Spanish. Polo is a local man from Rancheria with family there. I asked him a few questions about the effect of the bridge on his family on camera while Mo films. This is probably the highlight of everything so far when ask him if he has anything to add. He simply says that this is his dream.


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August 2015

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