Bridges to Prosperity Project
Location: Blue Nile River, Amhara
Population: 10,000 people
Expected Traffic: 500 people per day
Footbridge Type: Other
Span: 13m (42.7ft)
Dedication: Harry Corr and Abigail Woodhouse
Memorial: Jane Hale Jones
Sponsors: Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Gloucester, Virginia
SEBARA DILDIY REPAIR
In July of 2005, the Blue Nile had a catastrophic flood event. During this record high water, a portion of the bridge repair was swept away by the flood waters. However, the considerable masonry repair work done in 2002 was undamaged, and further helped to preserve the integrity of the main historic arch structure.
Shortly after the flood, the local communities came together and placed temporary eucalyptus poles across the opening. However, the temporary structure of eucalyptus did not allow for animals such as, donkeys to pass. So, in March of 2006, Ken Frantz traveled to this site to teach the installation of a cable support structure, that would both increase the bridges capacity, as well as greatly improve safety.
A hybrid design was used, drawing from local bridge building in Nepal, Ecuador and Ethiopia. The training and construction was conducted in three days with the leadership of Mebratu Abebaw. Also, a free medical clinic was operated by Dr. Mengistu, who treated approximately 750 patients in three days.
Following completion of this repair, this new bridge concept was dubbed: the “Mebratu Dildiy” or the “bridge of light”.