Parsons and Kiewit All-Woman Team Builds Footbridge to Connect Rwandan Community with Essential Services
CENTREVILLE, VA (April 2, 2019) – Parsons and Kiewit, in partnership with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), recently sent a team of 10 women to Rukarakara, Rwanda—a community of 6,000 people approximately 112 kilometers southwest of the capital city of Kigali—to build a 58-meter suspended footbridge over the Mudasomwa River.
The Parsons and Kiewit multinational team worked on site from March 16 – 31 to construct the footbridge, which now connects the community with year-round access to schools, government and medical services, and markets—all of which were unreachable during the village’s six- to nine-month annual rainy season. The team included project managers, construction experts, engineers, and safety specialists.
“Leading our all-woman team in Rwanda was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” said Jean Excell, Parsons Construction Project Director and Project Manager of the build. “Helping this rural, isolated community in Rwanda—a country that has risen from the aftermath of a civil war, largely due to Rwandan women who are the majority of survivors—was both empowering and humbling.”
“It was so rewarding to see the immediate impact made by the construction of a footbridge in Rukarakara,” said Amber Harley, Kiewit Assistant Design Engineering Manager and Construction Manager for the project. “Seeing the joy on children’s faces because they can attend school or the look of relief on a mother’s face because her sick baby can receive medical care was incomparable and worth every moment of our team’s hard work.”
The Rukarakara footbridge marks Parsons’ fourth B2P bridge-building project and Kiewit’s eighth B2P project. Both corporations have provided design engineering services, construction support, and support for training programs. Parsons also provides board leadership; Elie Homsi, PE, Senior Vice President and Parsons Fellow, currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of B2P’s board.
The build supported both firms’ shared mission of giving back to the community, while demonstrating core values including innovation, diversity, safety, and integrity.
Parsons is a digitally enabled solutions provider focused on the defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure markets. With nearly 75 years of experience, Parsons is uniquely qualified to deliver cyber-physical security, advanced technology solutions, and other innovative services to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide. For more about Parsons, visit parsons.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Kiewit is one of North America’s largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations. With its roots dating back to 1884, the employee-owned organization operates through a network of subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Kiewit offers construction and engineering services in a variety of markets including transportation; oil, gas and chemical; power; building; water/wastewater; industrial; and mining. Kiewit had 2018 revenues of $9 billion and employs 20,000 staff and craft employees.
About Bridges to Prosperity
Bridges to Prosperity is a United States-based nonprofit organization that partners with local governments to connect communities via pedestrian bridges. The organization works with isolated communities to create access to essential health care, education, and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. Bridges to Prosperity is based in Denver, Colorado, with staff around the world.