A View from Mabang Bridge
Last March, Rosie Zizer wrote a plaintive appeal to the government of Sierra Leone asking for urgent attention to the Mabang Bridge, but she isn't one to say I told you so.
Tonight, she reports on Facebook that a group of concerned Sierra Leonean citizens in America hired civil and structural engineers to inspect the fallen Mabang Bridge.
According to Zizer, based on the February 23, 2013 findings, the collapse of the Mabang Bridge is due to extensive scour on the piers of the bridge.
"The foundation of the pillars were also destroyed by impact from eroded soil," the report said. "There were no layers of gravel, sand, and any form of proper anchoring to embed the pillars on the Mabang Bridge. It’s a miracle that the bridge even survived for this period of time."
The report also said flood waters penetrated the bridge's bearings, and that the area around the fable anchor was not filled with rip rap stones but instead was back filled with mud and topped off with clay.
"If this contractor is still alive I would recommend thievery with the intent to defraud and murder charges," Zizer wrote.
"As an engineer, I believe that the report either had to have been in existence before the bridge collapsed, or that to have produced it within 24 hours of the collapse of the bridge, given how things are in Sierra Leone,
is a miracle," Melbourne Garber said.
"I would not think any organization would do a report like that without government authorization. I would be skeptical if an engineer gave me a report on this disaster after 24 hours when you can't get to parts of the collapsed bridge."