Construction of a new bridge in Tanzania with EWB

In February, Torbjørn Ådnanes from Multiconsult and Harald Erland from the Norwegian Public Roads Authority travelled to Tanzania to work on a bridge project to increase traffic safety.

18. March 2014

The trip was arranged by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and the aim was to inspect an area where a new bridge is required. The project is situated in the Haydom area of Tanzania and has been initiated by the Norwegian foundation “Haydoms venner” (“Friends of Haydom”) and the management in Haydom.

– In Haydom they do not have the necessary funds and knowledge to construct the kind of bridge necessary to increase traffic safety in the area. It is therefore great to be able to use my expertise to assist a project like this. The collaboration agreement between Multiconsult and EWB makes it easy to travel out. I also have the opportunity to make valuable contacts in connection with project engineering and construction, says Torbjørn Åndanes, Engineer in Construction at Multiconsult.

Vehicles at risk of being taken by floods

There is currently a “drift” (Irish bridge) at the bridge location. This is a walled stone embankment with concrete screed resulting in water running across the roadway. The bridge is on the road connecting Haydom and the hospital there to surrounding areas. During the rainy season there is a risk of having to make long detours if the bridge is not passable.

-During the rainy season, when there is flooding, it is impossible to tell where the road is. Vehicles are therefore at risk of driving off the roadway or being taken by the current. Accidents happen in the rainy season and access for ambulances and food supplies is restricted. It is therefore necessary to achieve an open water course under the roadway, says Ådnanes.

Project engineered in Norway, built in Tanzania

During the stay in Haydom meetings were conducted with engineers, councillors, headteachers and similar to obtain sufficient information for the project engineering. An inspection was also carried out at the bridge location for surveying-in and to take soil samples that were brought back to Norway for analysis.

– Based on the surveying on-site a new bridge will be project engineered in Norway. EWB, together with representatives from Multiconsult, will supply drawings and material specifications in addition to the implementation and bill of quantities for the bridge. Based on the delivery the job will be priced in Tanzania whereas the funding for the project will be raised in Norway by EWB, says Ådnanes.

The local contractor is keen to get started as soon as possible. The aim is for the bridge to be ready before the next rainy season starts.