Wow. What a privilege it was for Macalloy to be involved in this utterly jaw dropping project in one of the most remote locations on earth!
We were thrilled to be asked to supply galvanised bars to be used in the construction of two identical bridges spanning 72 metres over the rivers Maepua and Magoha, on Makira, one of the largest of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. As you might expect, Makira Island enjoys a tropical climate, but annual rainfall can exceed 3,500m. For many years, frequent monsoons and torrential downpours have divided communities and cut off essential services to the island’s population.
The two high level bridges were designed to withstand the excessive flooding and prevent some of the associated problems experienced by the islanders. They were planned as part of the second extensive Road Improvement Programme, first initiated in 2006 and funded by the governments of the Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand, with assistance from Asian Development grants.
Both of the arched bridges, which are supported on concrete piers, carry a single carriageway which is flanked on each side by footways. The bridges have enabled local communities to manage the extensive flooding they experience. However, the bridges have had wider benefits, bringing communities together for the first time and opening up access to schools for local children. The project has also created local employment opportunities in the form of road maintenance work and agricultural landscaping.
The Solomon Islands are an Archipelagic state in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, 2000km northeast of Australia. They are made up of approximately 1000 islands, of which only 147 are inhabited. The state’s location makes it one of the most remote areas in the world.
The programme that funded the bridges (SIRIP2) has financed a range of initiatives designed to create a robust infrastructure for ‘climate proof’ transport for the future.
Climate proofing in locations like this includes designing water crossings to withstand higher level floods and allow the passage of river debris, and constructing stronger bridges to prevent collapse when floods erode embankments.
Macalloy’s long-lasting, high-strength galvanised bars are designed to withstand the most challenging weather conditions, making us the ideal choice for this project. We supplied 1,150m of M36 520 galvanised bars, which were integral to the bridges’ construction.
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