Ken Boddie

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Ken blog
No Fallen Arches Afoot in Tanzania

No Fallen Arches Afoot in Tanzania

When I looked at this month's “New Civil Engineer” magazine on-line, I was immediately drawn to an article on the construction of 70 stone arch bridges.  I thought my eyes were deceiving me (a not uncommon thing these days, as old age often distorts reason), until I actually read the article, which is available at this link:">  

Certainly,  this old ‘tried and true’ sustainable method seems more akin to the bridges built by General Wade as part of his 18th Century military road network still evident in many parts of Scotland.  

I won't bore you with my own particular exuberant take on these classic old world construction methods being used in today's modern day Africa, but will encourage you to read more for yourself.  To entice you to do so, here are a few extracts taken from the above link, and a couple more photos, also taken from the same link:  

  1. “The aim of the project, launched in 2016, is to upgrade agriculture value chains but it has also resulted in a new approach to bridge construction.”
  2. “[Previous] Projects in those countries [Congo and Uganda] showed that stone arch bridges are cost efficient, allowing for more to be built with available budgets.”  
  3. "Van der Voort [local rural infrastructure expert] explains: ‘We work with rough stone and relatively inexperienced masons, compared with those who built European bridges in the 17th to 19th centuries. To cope with the risk of imperfections in craftsmanship, our bridges are overdesigned.’ ”  
  4. “But the bridges built for this project are five times cheaper than equivalent concrete ones, says Pharles Ngeleja who is Tarura regional coordinator for the stone arch bridges in Kigoma region. Lower costs were achieved through the engagement of local communities and because of lower materials costs.”  
  5. “Materials costs are minimised because a significant amount of the materials used are sourced in the area near the site.”  
  6. “The long lifespan of stone arch bridges makes comparative costs even lower. Van der Voort says that the stone arch bridges should last at least 100 years at a conservative estimate, claiming that they have a longer lifespan than concrete bridges built in the country.”  
  7. “… carbon footprint of stone arch bridges is significantly lower than that of reinforced concrete bridges because less cement is used.”

All above photos were published (unfortunately without any photographer credits) in the New Civil Engineer magazine's article, “Tanzania revives stone arch bridge construction for river crossings”, written by Sotiris Kanaris, at the above link.


When not researching the weird or the wonderful, the comical or the cultured, the sinful or the serious, I chase my creative side, the results of which can be seen as selected photographs of my travels on my website at:">">">">">">

The author of the above, Ken Boddie, besides being a sometime poet and occasional writer, is an enthusiastic photographer, rarely leisure-travelling without his Canon, and loves to interact with other like-minded people with diverse interests.

Ken's three day work week (part time commitment) as a consulting engineer allows him to follow his photography interests, and to plan trips to an ever increasing list of countries and places of scenic beauty and cultural diversity.


Ken Boddie

1 year ago #7

Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #6

Pascal Derrien

1 year ago #5

all this is way above my pay grade I could not even put two planks together above a tiny stream 

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #4

Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #3

Somebody stopped to think!  Nice!!

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #2

Jerry Fletcher

1 year ago #1

Everything old is new again. And so it goes.

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