Project Examples

The Yanacaca Bridge, Peru Project

Course: 14.431 Foundation & Soil EngineeringI
Semester: Fall 2007
Instructor: Sam Paikowsky
Partner:Village Empowerment Peru Project - Village of Yanacaca, Peru

The community in Yanacaca has asked for a bridge so that trucks can pick up their crops from the other side of the river. Currently, bags of crops are hand carried across the river by walking across a single log that serves as their bridge; the bags of crops are then be picked up by cars that can be as simple as cattle-driven wagons or as complex as big trucks. Roughly 200 folks live across the river and would use the bridge. The design project is aimed at designing and constructing a bridge that will be feasible under local conditions and that will be economically viable; students will work under the international understanding that the project requires the support of people on both ends, and creative solutions from both sides.

The project is to design a bridge so that trucks can pick up their crops on the other side of a river. The design project was aimed at obtaining this goal by designing and constructing a bridge that will be feasible under local conditions and that will be economically viable, promising the communities to always act after consultation, to act with a serious consideration of each step and in partnership with the people affected, to know whether or not the technology is suitable for the area. The students were divided into eight groups each assigned with one alternative. In the end, the class produced 8 design schemes for the bridge including engineering solution, cost estimation and timetable evaluation. The bridge is planned for construction in Summer 2008.