The Story of Choluteca

The Choluteca Bridge is a suspension bridge located in Choluteca, Honduras. Originally constructed in 1930, the bridge was rebuilt in 1996. The Honduras government, knowing the bridge was likely to face extreme weather conditions, commissioned some of the best architectural minds in the world to build a bridge that could withstand any hurricane. It was state-of-the-art at the time, providing a much-needed access point for the people of Honduras and was built to withstand the high winds and hurricanes that plagued the region.

Sure enough, in 1998, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Mitch, a category 5 storm that devastated the Caribbean. Honduras was wrecked. Roads were wiped out, there was considerable damage to buildings, and every other bridge in Honduras was destroyed. However, the Choluteca Bridge stood its ground and survived in near perfect condition. It was an amazing architectural achievement. Or, at least it should have been. Even though the bridge stood its ground, there was one problem, the storm caused the river to carve a completely new path which no longer ran under the bridge. That’s right, the Choluteca Bridge no longer stood over the river, rendering it essentially useless.


It is quite remarkable how quickly things can change. Even knowing that a hurricane would eventually hit Honduras, the designers of the bridge were still unable to anticipate future conditions under which the bridge would operate, regardless of how technologically advanced the bridge was at the time. This situation demonstrates how even the simplest of assumptions about the state of the world (the location of the river) may prove to be incorrect.


“Bridges are usually built to move one side to another. We are also constantly building bridges in our lives connecting our past to our present or present to the future. Examples of some of the bridges are our subject selection in college – a bridge to a prosperous future or a choice of our spouse- a bridge to happiness in personal life. Some of our bridges do not work out the way we intend, which we can refer to as our own personal Choluteca bridges .” 

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