Rosendin Volunteer Team Builds 161 Foot Suspension Bridge in Rwanda

Rosendin Volunteer Team Builds 161 Foot Suspension Bridge in Rwanda

SAN JOSE, CA – Rosendin recently completed an impressive international volunteer effort to build a footbridge in Rwanda. To celebrate its 100th year in business, Rosendin teamed up with the nonprofit Bridges to Prosperity to design and build the suspension bridge in a mountainous farming region in the Muhanga District. They completed the bridge in just 8-days, far ahead of schedule.

The team of 6-Rosendin and 4-Webcor employees have been in Rwanda since November 9th building the 161-foot long suspension footbridge over the Miguramo River, a dangerous waterway that splits community resources and is impassible five months of the year. In the last year, two people have died and three were injured trying to step across logs placed across the raging river.  

The new Rukurazo Footbridge serves approximately 1,200 people from the Rukurazo and Bisika communities by giving them safe and consistent access across the river to attend school, visit the hospital, and go to markets to buy and sell food.

“We started planning this bridge three months ago right down to the smallest details including a daily work schedule, tools list and safety precautions like fall protection, as well as basic logistics like where we will sleep and eat, so it is thrilling to see it all come together,” said Beatriz Kim, Rosendin Engineering Team Lead.

The local Rwandan community and volunteers with Bridges to Prosperity constructed the bridge’s anchors, foundations, pedestals and ramps using locally sourced wood and materials. The Rosendin and Webcor team built the bridge’s superstructure. That included two towers, cables and crossbeams, as well as decking, fencing and handrails.  

As the project manager on the volunteer effort, Kim, led the team of Rosendin employees which includes; Erika Fry (Virginia), Chelsea Laird (Oregon), Jordan Barkus (Virginia), Resmey Mom (California) and Andrew Terrell (Texas). Webcor also sent four volunteers; Crissy Tsai, Ryan Fischer, Bradley Shambaugh and Christian Aguayo. 

Rosendin first began exploring the idea two years ago when Matt Englert, Senior Vice President at Rosendin, began speaking with Bridges to Prosperity. Rosendin CEO/Chairman Tom Sorley quickly embraced the concept and in 2018 he brought the project to the National Academy of Construction (NAC), an industry association where he serves as President. To Sorley’s delight, in January 2019, NAC offered to donate $59,197 to the project if Rosendin secured volunteers to create and implement the plans.

In addition, Rosendin is collecting donations for the Rwandan community so they can maintain the bridge using locally available materials. Members of the public are encouraged to donate on the company page:

This volunteer project aligns with Rosendin’s core values of giving back to those less fortunate, values that they have instilled over the past 100-years in operation. 

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