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Tighe & Bond Partners with Cashman Family Foundation for Design of New Bridge in Haiti

Tighe & Bond, a Northeast leader in engineering and environmental consulting headquartered in Westfield, Massachusetts, had the honor of donating engineering services for an important project designing a new bridge over the Rivière Cochon Gras for the residents of Perches, Haiti. The project was led by The Cashman Family Foundation, a charitable subsidiary of the Cashman Family of Companies. The Foundation’s overall mission is to connect with resource-constrained communities and improve lives through infrastructure. Currently, the Foundation is focusing its efforts on improvements throughout Haiti.

The partnership for this project began after Jay Cashman, owner of the Cashman Family of Companies, obtained the rights to a prefabricated pony truss panel bridge formerly known as the Fore River Bridge connecting Weymouth and Quincy, Massachusetts. Cashman spoke with his friend Dave Murphy, PE of Tighe & Bond who suggested donating the bridge components to communities in Haiti. Murphy has been very active in Haiti for the last eight years, donating his time and engineering expertise to help build pedestrian bridges alongside Cashman and seeing firsthand the impact infrastructure improvements can have on these communities.

The Cashman Family Foundation soon identified the rural town of Perches in North-East Haiti as a place in great need of a bridge. The community is at a remote and isolated location, with about 20,000 residents who live in the town and many more in the surrounding area.  Residents rely on an unpaved road to access facilities to the north, including a local hospital and an industrial park.  The road is impeded by the Rivière Cochon Gras and during the three or four rainy months, the crossing is frequently impassable.

Tighe & Bond contributed design services for new abutment walls and supports for the bridge, and The Cashman Family Foundation donated the bridge superstructure and assisted the town in providing construction services. Tighe & Bond’s Principal Engineer, Brian Brenner, led the design project with collaboration from his colleagues, Principal Engineers Duncan Mellor and Craig French, and Project Engineers Kamila O’Neill and Eric Ohanian. The construction and engineering teams worked together closely, considering site conditions and what materials and equipment were available in this rural area. The bridge is now substantially complete and local Haitian engineers and constructors will finish the grading of the approach roadways.

Brenner notes: “Perches is a small town with limited access during the rainy months.  This bridge will help to provide connections, and we engineers were grateful to contribute to a project that will directly improve many peoples’ lives.”