Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dr Stong's Bridge in Anambra

Via email, he gave me an update on his latest volunter work in Nigeria. He wrote:

"I made a presentation last night here in Utah to the Worldwide Organization of Women who is sponsoring this bridge in Anambra State. They were enthused with my design and plans for construction. In the next few months I expect they will raise the money and I will have a lot more information to firm up my design, cost estimate and work plan for an expected work force of 45 local volunteers".

I intend to continue posting any info I have about this project henceforth titled "Dr Stong's Bridge in Anambra"

UPDATE: June 19, 2005

Bridge design-Dr Stong
In the past six months a preliminary design has been created, further site data has been collected at the riverside, and now a working design and viable cost estimate are ready. The original concept of a two lane, heavy truck carrying concrete bridge, costing over $400,000, has been totally re-adapted to the realities of this site and the people to be served. What is now presented is a timber bridge, where each element is so designed that it may like Lego blocks be installed by hands alone, no machines. This bridge will have a capacity to pass not only all the children and countless others on foot, but to also carry a truckload equaling two tons. The new cost is at less than 10% of where we began. For $35,000 the hardwood timber, bolts and cement may be purchased and transported.

The proposed Eze River Bridge will be constructed in 8-foot long sections. At this length the necessary load carrying beams will be light enough to be hand carried and yet strong enough to support a two-ton load. The plan is to build out simultaneously from each bank of the river towards the center of the river, placing two sections each day. The bridge will be set high enough above the waters of the rainy season to allow the passage of local boats. Its water-resistant timbers will be treated with preservative, and those below the water line triple treated. To preclude trucks of excessive size and weight coming on this bridge several precautions have been incorporated in the design. First the bridge roadway has been sized to take only trucks with a narrow width. Further at each entrance there will be a cluster of posts that will be so placed that only the narrow width trucks can pass. Finally at a place a short distance from each end of the bridge there will be a weight-testing box built into the roadway. The rear wheels of any truck of too great a load attempting to pass over this box will break a test beam, drop one-two feet into the pit and thus be stopped. For a fee, the village bridge tender will extricate the truck and replace the test beam. This final fail-safe provision may seem unnecessary, but for the thousand of people waiting over 30 years for a bridge in a land with no police within miles it is a must.

How the Worldwide Organization of Women got involved
About a month ago, a member of WOW was washing her clothes in the river when a crocodile attacked her. She survived, but is in serious condition. We have been asked to pray for her recovery. Had it been a school child crossing the river at that time, chances are that the crocodile would have succeeded in claiming its desired meal!

How Dr Stong got involved
"My link to the Worldwide Organization of Women is related to their
finding my name on the Internet in the past and my telling them I was open
to help. It was 2 years before they came upon the idea of a bridge and
one of their members remembered me".