North Vancouver, Canada — The residents of Rio Abajo, Nicaragua, welcomed an important piece of infrastructure into their community this past month — a new pedestrian suspension bridge over the Rio Pueblo Nuevo — thanks to the bridge-building team of engineers at Buckland & Taylor. The team recently returned from a two-week trip to this 3,000 person community where they partnered with non-profit organization Bridges to Prosperity and Kiewit's Bridge & Marine District to construct the bridge superstructure in just eight days.

The original bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, and since then, the community has been impaired by the lack of a proper river crossing and has had limited access to markets, secondary schools and health care services. When Bridges to Prosperity learned about the challenges the residents experienced daily, they partnered with engineering firm Buckland & Taylor to design and construct a new footbridge.

Buckland & Taylor began work on the Rio Abajo Footbridge in 2014. The four-person engineer team of Don Bergman, Hendrik Westerink, Terrence Davies and Kali Dickerson played a prominent role in the successful completion of the project, including a design review of the structure and construction work. The firm also made a significant financial contribution to the project by sponsoring a portion of the required construction materials.

A bridge inauguration ceremony marked the official opening of the bridge and was well attended by local politicians and Rio Abajo residents. During the ceremony, Don Bergman, Buckland & Taylor's Vice President of Major Projects remarked, "I've worked on many larger bridges around the world, but none have provided the sense of joy and satisfaction that the Rio Abajo bridge has."

To learn more about the project, visit the Buckland & Taylor website at www.b-t.com or the Bridges to Prosperity website at www.bridgestoprosperity.org.

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