In partnership with Engineers in Action, SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies and PCL Construction designed and built a 55-meter (180-foot) suspension footbridge over the Río Sapse in Bolivia. During the region’s rainy season, the river’s water rises to dangerous levels, making it impossible for community members to cross and restricting their access to essential resources.

Over the course of seven days, SYSTRA IBT and PCL Construction volunteers from across North America worked alongside community members to make the footbridge a reality. With limited equipment and tools, it was a challenge. However, the team worked nimbly and creatively to complete the project ahead of schedule. The footbridge was constructed 30 percent faster than initially planned. Almost 1,000 people in five rural communities now have year-round safe access to education, health care, and economic opportunities.

“The time spent in Sapse was an unforgettable experience, rich in moments of sharing with the entire population, especially the children. Working closely with the inhabitants was an invaluable learning experience.”
—Edouard Renneville, Bridge Engineer, SYSTRA IBT-Montréal

Brandon Tappen, Sr. Bridge Engineer for SYSTRA IBT-Olympia, WA, contributed his engineering expertise to the project.

Photo credit: Brandon Tappen and Edouard Renneville
Video credit: Mallory Mead, PCL Construction Sr. Communications Specialist

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