Some bright sparks cut through the doom and gloom brought about the virus crisis. Compelled to stay at home owing to the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, six brothers pit their wits against boredom to build a 40m suspension bridge.
The enterprising brothers, including two engineers, built their do-it-yourself bridge to connect their house to the family farmland in Wadi Fada in the wilayat of Dhank, Governorate of Dhahirah.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Muhanna Said al Zaidi, one of the two engineers, said, “I decided to achieve my dream with my five brothers during the pandemic. It was a good way to utilise the time.” The other engineer in the Zaidi brothers crew is Omar. The other siblings are Asaad, Osama, Mohammed and Yaruba.
“The stay-at-home and social distancing norms prompted us to invest our free time in building the bridge. We completed the work on April 13,” Muhanna said.
“We used stainless steel wire (304 SS) and flexible general engineering wire rope to suspend the bridge. The maximum height of the bridge is 13m above the ground and its weight-bearing capacity is 35 tonnes,” Muhanna informed.
He borrowed the idea from similar structures he saw during his frequent work-related visits to India, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand. “I examined these bridges closely, taking pictures and studying them from an engineering perspective to access their structural stability.”
While the idea of the bridge hatched in 2016, when he drew the first engineering designs for the bridge, it is finally a reality now. “We followed a routine while working on the bridge. We’d start at 6am and work till 12 noon. After a break, we’d resume at 4pm to wind up at 8pm,” Muhanna said, adding that they had difficulty procuring construction materials for the bridge. “It required a lot of research, determination and above all patience.”
Asked what the brothers learnt through the project, Muhanna said, “That no one will make your world, you have to do it yourself.”
The Zaidi brothers DIY bridge cost RO2,000 in all.
The brothers hope their next project involves a larger suspension bridge over Wadi Fada to attract tourists and promote tourism in the country.