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At the end of yesterdays post, we had the first beam moving, barely. The work of preparing the beam to actually travel over to the river was not completed. For one thing, more logs were needed to be used as rollers. Abandoned utility poles were offered for our use:

There’s the old pole.

Digging it out turned out not to be an effective plan, because it was sunk into a large chunk of concrete.

A rope was attached to the pole . . .

and another rope . . .

While these men pulled in the right direction . . .

Russell used the chain saw to cut the pole down.

The pole was cut into usable lengths, and similar work was done with several other old poles.

Sadly, all of this work turned out to be a waste of time and effort. The utility poles were too old and dried out to work. When the men tried to roll the beam over these logs, the logs crushed under the weight. With the help of the alcalde (mayor) of El Mongual, Allen got permission to cut down some living trees, to cut into stronger logs for rollers (the laws regarding logging are pretty strict in Honduras, so you have to jump through some bureaucratic hoops for permission to cut down trees, even on private property). Eventually 6 large, straight pine trees were purchased and cut down (some of this wood was used in a later part of the project – you’ll hear about that in a future post). Through an arrangement between the government and a reforestation organization, 6 new trees will be planted for each tree which was cut down. None of the lumber we cut will end up as part of the structure of the bridge, so it will all be available to the municipality for use in future projects.

Here are the pine logs which were eventually successfully used as rollers.

Check in again soon, as we graaaaadually move this beam to the bridge!