B2P- Day 3- Drilling, Torquing and Pouring

Weather: 30 C ( 86 F), Clear skies, Sunny & Humid

Another big day at the bridge site. We had another early rise, and another 12-hour day.

The day started again with Becky’s stretching session. David C avidly participating with the final ‘Superwoman’ stretch of the morning before starting work.

Jenny, Mike, Sarah and David C were hard at work again today preparing the decking planks. This involved cutting and pre-drilling the 150 decking planks ready to set on to the cable’s tomorrow. They are a smooth running operation now; having perfected the process. A huge effort from these guys with only 30 boards left to complete tomorrow morning.

Jeremy, Vinay, Issa had another full day in the anchor trench tensioning and adjusting the cables to reach the correct sag levels. Vinay had another full day communicating the cable levels to the wrench team. This proved slightly easier today considering his voice is slowly returning from a brief cold the previous day.

The sun was out and the basalt stone walls radiated heat making the pit uncomfortably hot. The sun in Africa will either melt you or forge you. Id say it forged these men.

Over the last two days the cables team completed 140 bolt ups, with 56 bolt ups having to be torqued tomorrow to set the anchors prior to laying the decking. hopefully the sag doesn’t dramatically change while the cables rest overnight.

Issa on the torque wrench torquing the cable clamps within the foundation trench

Vinay and team being very particular about tolerance requirements of the sag. Sight it in multiple times with multiple eyes to ensure consistent sag.

Fred, David and Becky were worked on pouring the topping slab for the right abutment. The batch plant is located near the left abutment and we transported the concrete using wheelbarrows across the temporary crossing and up the hill. The whole team was awe-inspired at the tenacity of the locals as they hauled concrete all day with no complaint. David did two rounds of concrete and was clearly exhausted, moving more into a motivational role following this.

David, Fred and Winnie moved onto prepping the reinforcing steel hangers for the bridge set up tomorrow, prepping 124 bars in the heat.

Morning tea (commonly referred to as ‘Break Tea’) is especially enticing each day as the work site is just starting to heat up when we break at 11 am. On the Menu; bananas- in all different forms. We also routinely enjoy Rolex, a Ugandan staple, followed by a siesta of sorts at the lunch tent.

Its fairly amazing that we get fed twice during the work day. Lunch followed at around 1:30 pm which included fried casava, ground nuts sauce, bean stew, rice, spaghetti, Posho ( Ground corn), wild chili peppers, and very organic, free range chicken.

Sarah W dancing with the chefs after finishing all the decking board preparation.

Video : Matthew educating Issa on how to make a tooth brush and what berries to eat

After a productive days work we headed back to out hotel. The streets seem busiest after sunset and the video below provides a touch of what we encounter every day on the drive.