NSBA and B2P Build Bridge in Bolivia

The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) recently collaborated with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a nonprofit organization that builds footbridges in isolated communities across the world, to build a bridge in Azurduy, Bolivia. Ten volunteers and three B2P staff built the La Marca Suspension Bridge. At 361 ft long, La Marca is the largest bridge yet for an NSBA-sponsored team and the third largest for B2P. The new bridge provides pedestrian access to healthcare and schools and will also allow local residents to transport their goods to local markets.

The team flew into Sucre, Bolivia, and drove seven hours to the mountainous Villa Azurduy, about 8,000 ft in elevation and the closest town to the bridge site. The participants provided the labor and skills to construct the bridge during their two-week stay. In order to complete the project, the team worked 11 days straight, side-by-side with the community, to bring the bridge to fruition. During their time off, they did some sightseeing and enjoyed the local culture.

NSBA's very own John Hastings was very excited about taking his second trip with B2P. "I enjoy volunteering and building things, so this was an opportunity to do both of those and use my engineering skills to help a community have access to the basics," he said. "It is also an opportunity to build relationships with a diverse group of individuals in the bridge industry."

This was NSBA's third volunteer trip with B2P; the other two trips were in Lura, Panama, in 2016 and El Macho, Panama, in 2018. NSBA is excited to announce that it will sponsor another B2P project in Bolivia in 2020.

Check out this video to learn more about NSBA and B2P’s La Marca Suspension Bridge collaboration:

Thank you to the volunteers and B2P staff who made this project possible:

John Hastings, NSBA
Craig Smart, HDR
Craig Stevens, DelDOT
Scott Walls, DelDOT
Anthony Schoenecker, Modjeski and Masters, Inc.
Brad Dillman, High Steel Structures, LLC
Larry O'Connell, Stupp Bridge Company 
David Alameda, Fought & Company, Inc. 
Curt Duncan, TDOT 
Jackie Wong, A Volunteer from California

(Drone footage by Craig Smart)