Posted by: mwestby July 5, 2021
In June 2021, we had the pleasure of welcoming Hay local primary school to our Matthews Bridge Replacement project in Maude. Over 30 children and several teachers joined us onsite for a day filled with learning about the built environment, Matthews Bridge construction, and to show the children the second girder installation.
Experienced Regional Team
The team, Balwanth Kondakindi, William (Billy) Coady, and Ben Hagens, who also delivered the Camp Street Bridge Replacement in Forbes, NSW, are delivering the replacement bridge to help improve freight movements across rural and regional NSW.
Balwanth and Ben have been living in the community since December 2020 and over the course of construction become somewhat locals themselves.
Hay Local School
The children, levels ranging from K1 to K6, are currently learning about local history, the built environment, governmental funding, flood management, and leadership at different levels. A school excursion to the Matthews Bridge Replacement project presented a great hands-on learning opportunity.
The day started with Rod Johnson, Abergeldie Safety Advisor delivering a safety talk to the children. During their visit, large girders would be transported on the main road and a large crane would be lifting them in place. Safety was our first priority.
Q/A Session with Billy and Balwanth
Project Manager, Billy, and Project Engineer, Balwanth provided a short overview of the Matthews Bridge construction and opened the floor for questions. There were a lot of great questions from the children and the team did an excellent job in responding in a way that they could understand.
Q: “How does concrete work?”
A: “A lot like jelly”
Girder Lift and Installation
The Supervisors onsite, Ben and Daniel McPherson kept the team up to date on the progress. Once the girders were ready to be lifted into place, Ben directed the team to bring the children to the existing bridge for the best possible view. Rod, Balwanth, and Billy safely escorted the children and teachers across to see it up-close.
Maude and Hay locals also joined watching the girder installation on the existing bridge. Our team had quite the audience.
Barbeque and Abergeldie Memorabilia
The team has had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Lesley, a Maude local who manages the store and post office. Since the beginning of construction, Lesley has been feeding our crews homemade soups and fresh sandwiches. It was only natural to ask if she would be available to cater for a barbeque. Lesley and Balwanth extended the invitation to join the barbeque lunch to the rest of the Maude community.
Feedback from the School
“…what a wonderful learning experience the Abergeldie team provided for our whole school during our visit to the new Maude bridge last Thursday. The Abergeldie team was simply wonderful with our staff and children, really speaking to the children at a level that was easy for them to understand and taking an active interest in them, patiently answering all their questions. … it was truly a day of ‘history in the making.”