National Steel Bridge Alliance
Bridges to Prosperity
NSBA to Build Bridge in Bolivia - April 2019
The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) is collaborating with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a nonprofit organization that builds footbridges in isolated communities across the world. They will travel to La Marca, Bolivia, this spring, to build a pedestrian bridge that's over 300-feet long! This is NSBA's third volunteer trip with B2P; the first two trips went to Panama. The new bridge will provide access to healthcare and schools and will also allow local residents to get their goods to market.
The team will fly into Sucre, Bolivia, and drive seven hours to the mountainous Villa Azurduy, about 8,000 ft in elevation and the closest city to the bridge site, where they will provide the labor and skills to construct the bridge. For their two-week stay, they will be staying in a community building and the team members will live similarly to the local community. They will purchase their groceries when they arrive in Sucre and take them to the village where they are staying. Without running water and electricity and limited cell phone service, they will use outhouses, take bucket showers and only be able to access electricity periodically. The team will build a 110-m (361-ft) suspension bridge, the largest yet for an NSBA-sponsored team.
The team plans to work full days, six days a week in order to complete the project, which is more than double the size of the bridge constructed in Panama. On the team's off time, they will likely do some sightseeing and enjoy the local culture with the residents.
Hastings is very excited about 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."
Check out the video from our 2016 B2P Panama trip!
To learn more about B2P and how you can become a volunteer or industry partner, visit www.bridgestoprosperity.org/what-you-can-do. And you can read about NSBA's two previous B2P projects by clicking here for the 2016 trip and here for the 2018 trip.