Haiti has a big concrete project ahead, but a broken supply chain
Today marks the opening of the Jiaozhou Bay bridge that spans the waters between China’s eastern port city of Qingdao and the island of Huangdao.
The Jiaozhou Bay bridge is 26.4 miles long and is supported by more than 5000 concrete piers and a 110-foot-wide concrete deck. In four years the construction crew poured just over 81 million cubic yards of concrete. Think of this as filling swimming pools. The Chinese concrete supply chain was asked to fill 3800 Olympic sized pools, or about three a day!
There are no plans for Haiti to build a fancy bridge between the mainland and island of La Gonave. Even if that was suggested, Haiti wouldn’t have the supply chain to even get a few hundred feet from the harbor. The fact is that Haiti doesn’t need the concrete supply chain the scale of this Chinese bridge project. But they still need a massive amount of concrete to rebuild a better and safer future.
Haiti needs concrete for thousands of small projects scattered all across the country. But even the smallest projects are the victims of a failed concrete supply system. A system that can’t be trusted to make a product of good enough quality to hold up a modest home, never mind a massive bridge.
As we admire the engineering and construction accomplishments represented by the Jiaozhou Bay bridge. This project should inspire us to redouble our efforts in seeing that places like Haiti find the tools, training and funding for a better concrete supply chain.
Otherwise… The dream of building back a better Haiti will be a bridge to nowhere.