The Choluteca Bridge

U.S. Army Engineers built a bridge over the Choluteca river in Honduras to withstand storms and hurricanes. In 1998 Hurricane Mitch brought floods, death and destruction to the area. 150 Honduran bridges were destroyed, but not the Choluteca Bridge.

When the flood waters receded the hurricane had re-routed the river to flow through a new channel. The bridge remained a fine structure, but it spanned a river that was no longer there. 12 years later it still stands useless.

In 2020 there are excellent well-constructed bridges – but over re-routed rivers.

Offices with big open spaces have been empty for months. Many people have adjusted to working from home; they like not having to travel for work or meetings. Work is still being done, the river is still flowing – but it’s flowing outside the office building.

Our hospitals were designed and built for serious illness, medication, invasive procedures and cures. There is now a greater emphasis on prevention, on an even greater co-operation between clinicians and researchers. The river seems to be changing course.

In education the river seems to be changing course. Our holistic education, from nursery to university, that has flourished, developing well-rounded social and sociable citizens, is now changing to a socially distanced more academically focused model.  

Our churches have structurally sound bridges, built well with care and purpose. Many bridges span needs that used to be, but, because of recent hurricanes, have moved.

Many are waiting for the river to return to its original course; others are trying to force the river to go back under the old bridge. Meanwhile we maintain an old bridge that is wasting away, serving no one and standing useless and redundant.

The alternative is to accept that the river has moved, leave redundant bridges, and create new ones that will cross the river of the needs of those around us.

17 thoughts on “The Choluteca Bridge

  1. Points to ponder indeed! To us all by surprise did the pandemic. Challenging to reach out differently. Little by little changes are being made, but it seems to me there is a long way to go.

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  2. Too true Malcolm. When leading on Education in Derby I was advised that most of our schools were where the Victorian population was and the newer suburban housing ares were not so well serviced by schools. Trying to close a school where few children lived is almost impossible. “There’s no school better than the one most recently earmarked for closure.” Fortunately we built a state of the art special school, a well equipped PRU, oh and some ‘normal schools’. The church, or churches, are in a similar position.

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  3. Hello Malcolm. I have read several of your musings over the past weeks, todays reminded me of my feelings over the last few days. I have just finished my Jury Service and the Case was not pleasant at all. As I walked from the station along the river path to the court each day, it reminded me that Gods love is always flowing for us. Perhaps leads us on unexpected paths, but his love, the Water, is always there for us.

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  4. Reblogged this on The Bridgehunter's Chronicles and commented:
    Here’s an interesting “Bridge to Nowhere” story that takes us to Honduras. There, the US Army Engineers built a bridge to span Choluteca River only to find that Hurricane Mitch rerouted the river, making the modern bridge useless in the literal sense of the word. Have a look at the story behind this useless crossing that still stands to this day…….

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  5. This bridge is a structure that is beuit over a ralt road,river,or road so that people or vehicles can cross from oneside to the other he walked back over the railroad bridge cauntable noun a bridge between two places is a peice of land that joins or conne cts them thes is bridge are to our peoples part of the life structure.

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