In the Community

Teamwork multiplies success: Employees work together to build longest Bridges to Prosperity footbridge to date

2014 Bridges to Prosperity (1)This March, two teams collaborated on Flatiron’s longest footbridge built to date as part of Flatiron’s Bridges to Prosperity program. The 345-foot-long bridge in Paso Real, Nicaragua, is expected to serve 650 people each day.

The new bridge is located approximately two hours from Managua, Nicaragua, near two projects Flatiron completed in 2013. Team one was responsible for tripping the 33-foot-tall towers and setting the main cable, while team two hung suspenders and laid the deck a week later.

Typically, towers are tripped using scaffolding set on the back side of the tower foundations. However, due to a steep drop right behind the foundations, this method wasn’t possible. The teams developed techniques that have never been used to overcome the challenge. Metal poles strapped to the bridge foundation provided pulling points high enough to allow the towers to be tripped without the use of scaffolding. Scaffolding was then erected on the front side of the foundations to allow access to the top of the towers for hanging suspenders and setting decking. The new techniques provide an alternative erection plan to future B2P teams.

“Everyone from past projects said it was life-changing, and I’m not sure I believed them until I was there. This was the most rewarding experience of my life. I hope to help with the program again in some way.” —Lauren Erhardt, QC field engineer, Western Region, Paso Real Team One

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