Chari, Chari, Bolivia, Cable Supported Footbridge
Chari Chari, Omereque Bolivia
Bridges to Prosperity
The Rio Mizque runs through Chari Chari which is located within the Andes in the central Bolivian region of Omereque. Approximately 6,000 people inhabit the area in several surrounding communities. Located on steep hillsides, these communities were completely isolated for three to four months every year until the completion of the 520-foot-long bridge. The Rio Mizque divides several communities from one another and from access to the main road and the larger regional town, and thereby limits local villagers' access to essential needs. The bridge build was assisted by Bridges to Prosperity, a group that included many ASCE members, which seeks to open up impoverished regions in nearly impassable parts of the world by helping to construct pedestrian bridges.
Triple Bottom Line
Economic: Safe access across the Rio Mizque opens up routes for trade and other economic purposes. A community construction contract provided local labor and an economic stimulus to the community.
Social: The bridge improves access to education and participation in social and governing activities. The bridge connects villagers to the medical clinic, secondary school, and markets, thereby improving their quality of life.
Environmental: Locally available materials were used in construction, minimizing the embodied energy of the project. Maintenance will be accomplished by the Chari Chari community using local labor and materials, ensuring sustainability of the project. The bridge cable anchorages were re-designed to better utilize existing subsurface conditions, and masonry towers were used to significantly reduce the excavation and concrete required for anchoring.
The Cable Supported Footbridge received the ASCE 2013 Innovation in Sustainable Civil Engineering Award. The project marks the longest bridge project undertaken by Bridges to Prosperity, and helps connect communities to better education, medical, and economic opportunities.