EWB@WSU is working with the non-profit organization Bridges to Prosperity to design and install a footbridge in El Salvador. The team will then travel to the site and oversee its construction in the Summer of 2011.
Senior Design Team Members:
1. Rebecca Fakkema, Senior CE
2. Kyle Kooy, Senior CE
3. Meron Wobneh, Senior CE
4. John Bergeleen, Senior CE
Active Participants in the Project:
1. Ryan Hartman (Project Leader), Senior CE
2. Brent Olson (Project Co-leader), Junior CE
3. Dan Haynes, Senior CE
4. Erin McDonald, Sophomore CE
5. Amy Garras, Sophomore CE
6. Lisa Reich, Junior CE
7. Eric Brandon, Junior CE
The 40 meter suspension foot bridge will help the rural community of La Hacienda Corinto connect to the larger city of Zaragoza. Presently, the Jute River that runs between these two locations rises in elevation during the wet season and makes the smaller rural community isolated from the larger city. This will provide La Hacienda Corinto the ability to have access year-round to education, medical needs, and for local workers to transport their goods from the field to the market.
John Bergeleen and Dr. Karl Olsen visited the site to collect survey information in Fall of 2010. The design portion of the project was completed as the design team’s Senior Design Class Project in Fall of 2010, and was reviewed by two professional engineers. Modifications were made on the design to comply with Bridges to Prosperity standards in December of 2010. The expenses for the foundation work were obtained by the beginning of April, and the excavation was started in Mid-April. The funding for the initial excavation was collected thanks to several generous donors.
Currently, the team is working on obtaining the remaining funds for the project. The overall budget including bridge materials and travel expenses is approximately $15,000. This will allow one WSU Faculty Member and 2-3 EWB@WSU members to travel to El Salvador in the Summer of 2011 to help oversee and construct the bridge.
During the construction visit, the EWB@WSU team will train the local citizens of La Hacienda Corinto on how to maintain the bridge. The WSU team is actively involved in establishing links with the Universities in El Salvador, which would provide students that would actively participate in future projects as team members in collaborative teams. This was done successfully through EWB@WSU’s project in Concepción, Chile where a restoration plan for a lake was created. Also, EWB@WSU and B2P plan on continuing El Salvador bridge projects for 5 more years, with the initial site visit taking place in the Fall and the construction taking place in the Spring. During the construction visit in the Spring, the team will also look at potential sites for future bridges and check up on previously built bridges. This will create a strong relationship in El Salvador between several rural communities and EWB@WSU, and allow WSU students to apply classroom knowledge to a real-world situation that will surely leave a very positive impact on their lives.