Acrow Bridge, a leading international bridge engineering and supply company, has noted that one of their modular steel bridges has been erected in the City of Mocoa in the southwestern part of Colombia after floods and mudslides left more than 250 people dead and hundreds missing last month. The Acrow structure being used will aid in relief efforts to the region and was constructed from inventory previously purchased by the National Army of Columbia.
Torrential rains, which had pummeled large parts of South America, created floods and mudslides that caused massive destruction throughout several countries in the western region of the continent, particularly Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. It is believed that the extreme weather was caused by an amalgam of factors including climate change; an ongoing centralization of the population to more urban areas lacking adequate infrastructure; and a localized El Niño event, which is caused by the rise in the temperature of the Pacific.
The Acrow structure, which is a key element in the relief and recovery efforts, allows for the speedy delivery of aid from other areas and establishes access to deliver heavy construction equipment into sites that were affected by the mudslides. The Colombian agencies responsible for the construction were Agency for National Infrastructure (ANI), the National Road Institute (Invias) and the Concessionaire (Allied Concession for Progreso S.A.S.). The Acrow bridge, a 42-meter clean simple span with a road width of 4.2 meters, was opened to traffic on April 11th, ten days after the rains stopped.
At the ceremony during which he officially opened the bridge, President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated the Columbian Army, specifically the military engineers and Commander General Mejia, for the 24-hour-per-day effort it took to get the bridge opened so quickly. By the time of these remarks, the relief effort was well underway, with more than 130 tons of food delivered and drastically improved access to drinking water. The President has pledged that Mocoa will be rebuilt and expects that within one year economic activity should also begin to recover.
"It is gratifying to know Acrow bridging is helping to support efforts to alleviate the suffering after this natural disaster," said Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge. "It is a wonderful achievement for the talented soldiers of the Columbian Army that they were able to open access for emergency services and equipment so quickly. For over 60 years, Acrow has provided materials and services to restore transportation lifelines after natural catastrophes and man-made disasters. That this bridge and other replacements were in place within a day of the tragedy illustrates the foresight and caring of the Colombian government in planning for such events."
About Acrow Bridge
Acrow Bridge has been serving the transportation and construction industries for more than 60 years with a full line of modular steel bridging solutions for vehicle, rail, vessel, military and pedestrian use. Acrow's extensive international presence includes its leadership in the development and implementation of bridge infrastructure projects in over 80 countries, covering Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.acrow.com.