Building Bridges in Fiji with RMIT University
A final-year civil engineering student at RMIT University has designed a bridge that will help a remote community in Fiji. Hamish Currie was nominated to re-design and rebuild the Waivaka pedestrian bridge, which collapsed during heavy flooding, over ten years ago.
The project was able to take place thanks to a partnership that RMIT University has with the Centre of Water and Energy Engineering at Fiji National University and the Reach 4 Your Future Foundation – a charity that helps education projects in Fiji and the Pacific Islands.
Hamish spent his final year collecting site data and testing the integrity of the collapsed bridge, to create a design that is compatible with the remains of the previous structure. He researched available materials and resources alongside his studies, before presenting his design and report to the Australian High Commission and Fiji Government for funding.
Construction began on the project in late 2014 and completed in March 2015.
Professor John Mo, who was supervising Hamish during the project said: “During a cyclone-related flood in 2004, the bridge deck was destroyed and washed away, without the bridge, the local villagers have to step on rocks and in water, and young children are particularly vulnerable to the risks in crossing the river. This bridge will provide a substantial economic benefit as well a safe passage for young children and elderly to cross the river and reach facilities such as schools and hospitals.”
Watch this video to hear about the project from Hamish himself.