Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala
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The Escuintla region is a mountainous landscape, about one hour’s drive from the capital, Guatemala City. Agricultural production and tourism makes up a large part of the economy and this can be disrupted by periodic eruptions from volcanoes in the region. One of the most violent eruptions in recent years had destroyed vital bridges, thereby disconnecting an agricultural facility from the outside world. For these reasons it was imperative that the bridges be replaced and the infrastructure re-instated as urgently as possible. Just before the time of the disaster, Mabey Bridge started a commercial relationship with the customer appointed to carry out the work, Corporacion General de Tractores, S.A. (GENTRAC), a leading distributor of top international brands in Guatemala. Following a competitive tender, Mabey Bridge quickly responded with a viable bridging schedule to meet both deadline and budget and subsequently won the contract to supply three bridges, provide on-site training and a pre-build loading assessment test on the bridges.Back to top
Mabey Bridge supplied three 60m Compact 200™, which comprised of two lane vehicular bridges plus footwalks. Designed to carry HL-93 loading, the bridges meet the requirements of permanent public highway bridges in the USA, with the ability to sustain 2 million cycles of fatigue design loading.
The bridge sizes meant that there were several engineering challenges during launching, but these were overcome with the introduction of special equipment.
A significant part of the contract involved training and supporting the GENTRAC team, which was undertaken mostly at the installation location in Guatemala City by a Mabey Bridge Site Advisor, using instruction manuals translated and provided in Spanish. However, as part of the training programme, Mabey Bridge also invited some of the team to the UK for initial training at Lydney.Back to top
Thanks to the training provided in Guatemala, the bridges took just 14 days to assemble by a local team of 12 people, who were now capable of building and maintaining the C200™ system, with two telehandlers and a small crane. The new bridges have now afforded access to the agriculture production facility and tourism activity, reconnecting it to main infrastructure and helping to kickstart the region’s recovery.
GENTRAC were extremely pleased with how the whole project progressed. “The Mabey Bridge Site Advisor’s role in the training was timely and professional; we welcomed Mabey Bridge’s support in helping us meet the tight deadline on such an important project, and we look forward to working with them again.”Back to top