In partnership with Engineers in Action, SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies and PCL Construction planned and built a 55-meter (180-foot) suspended footbridge over the Río Sapse, connecting remote villages located high in the Bolivian Andes Mountains.

For seven days, SYSTRA IBT and PCL Construction volunteers from across North America worked alongside community members to make the footbridge a reality. Since equipment and tool availability was scarce, human power was the most readily available resource on site. The Rio Sapse Bridge build team worked quickly and innovatively, completing the project 30 percent faster than anticipated, much to the excitement of the community. Following the completion of the footbridge, a celebration was held to honor and appreciate the tremendous effort put forth by the build-team and the community. Now, almost 1,000 people in five rural communities 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

"I had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone who worked on this project. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone and would do it again in a heartbeat." —Brandon Tappen, Sr. Bridge Engineer

Brandon Tappen from SYSTRA IBT-Olympia, WA, USA and Edouard Renneville from SYSTRA IBT-Montréal, Québec, Canada contributed their engineering expertise and muscle to the project.

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

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