Engineering and Impact of Suspended Bridge Infrastructure in Underprivileged Rural Communities

McClorey, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gomez, Jose, University of Virginia

This tightly coupled Technical Capstone Project and STS Research Thesis describe both the engineering required to design and construct a pedestrian footbridge in underserved rural communities as well as the lasting impacts of footbridges on these communities following implementation. Our UVA Capstone Team partnered with Engineers in Action (EIA) to design a pedestrian footbridge for the Guayabitos community in Pojo, Bolivia. The agricultural community of Guayabitos lacks local infrastructure, isolated from essential services by an impassable river that floods during Bolivia’s seven-month rainy season. The construction of a pedestrian bridge would ensure the community’s year-round wellness, allowing access to secondary school, healthcare, and city markets. The STS Research portion of this Portfolio focuses on the improvements that occur as a result of implementing a new footbridge in an isolated and underserved rural community. These technical and STS products together demonstrate the massive influence that engineering can have on society and social change.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
bridge, infrastructure, rural, community, underserved
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