The “Theth-Grunas” bridge

The “Theth-Grunas” bridge

During the spring of 2015, the volunteers of Albanian Challenge fabricated and tested a steel arch bridge, for use in the conditions of northern Albania.

It’s purpose is mainly to allow access to zones south of Theth – it was built on a spot located on the road from Theth to Grunas (at the exact spot where the old bridge used to be located). It is one of the most frequented tourist routes in the vicinity, mainly because it leads to the famous waterfalls in Grunas.

Construction of the bridge and it’s maintenance is administered by our bridge team. It is possible to completely dismantle it if needed, its maximum load is projected at 800 kg and it was stress-tested by a load of 1 400 kg using 1 horse and 14 persons. The steel for it’s construction was provided as a gift by the SALVO spol. s.r.o. company. 600 kg of steel beams were kindly transported to the site by a bus of CK Alpina, the wooden parts were transported by Petr Ševčík and his wife, and another 290 kg of steel were brought here by Jirka Němec and Jan “Challenger” Balák. Beams were drilled on equipment provided by Jan Balák II. (Challenger’s grandfather 🙂 ) and the bridge was finally tested on a garden of a family house in the village of Sokolnice near Brno.

The construction started on August 21st at 8:50 AM with 21 volunteers and it was finished by 9 of them on August 22nd at 2:30 PM. Thanks to the modular conception and dry conditions, it was completed in a record-breaking period. The bridge was designed and it’s blueprint was created by Ing. Martin Herka.

Technical specifications:

  • lenght 15,5 m,
  • width 800 mm,
  • it was impossible to use concrete (not enough time + it is complicated to transport enough cement),
  • lenght the largest part for the bridge could not exceed 1 200 mm (with transport mules in mind),
  • the maximum weight of one part could not exceed 80 kg (mules really have their limits 🙂 ),
  • parts were designed with maximum efficiency in mind (only a few types, light and easily transportable)
  • everything had to be completely capable of being dismantled, transported to Albania and assembled again
  • the bridge was not financed from any public funds or grants, neither from Czech, Albanian nor European funds.

The bridge was built thanks to financial support provided by:

  • Jana Velanová
  • Lukáš Lacko
  • Erika Lorencová
  • Vojtěch Nekvapil
  • Pavel Blažek
  • Jan Balák IV. – Challenger
  • Jan Balák II.
  • Jan Balák III. & Jaromíra Baláková
  • Martin Čermák
  • Salaš-Křesťanský akademický klub
  • Dorazilovi
  • Ladislav Kozubík
  • Jana Kociánová
  • VKH Brno
  • Jiří Balák
  • Zdeněk Lorenc
  • Jaroslav Šerý
  • Skautská družina Pandy Újezd u Brna
  • Petr Lízal
  • Filip Weber
  • Anna Ponížilová
  • Libor Bláha
  • Jiří Cupák
  • Klára Nedorostková
  • Bohuslav Horděčuk
  • Radek Šílený

Thank you – we couldn’t have done it without you.