This bridge will allow 15,000 Nicaraguans to cross the Rio Grande de Matagalpa. This bridge is essential for them to access public transport, which is the only way for them to go to work and receive adequate health care. This is especially important in the wet season, when the river has crested at 3.5 meters above ground level. We hope this bridge will enable community members to develop greater economic stability by providing a dependable mode of access from their community to the city.
The Rio Grande de Matagalpa separates the surrounding communities from the highway and the nearest bus stop. During the dry season, crossing the river is unsafe and a potential health hazard due to water contamination. During the wet season, crossing is life-threatening, since the current is very strong and rapid changes in water level are possible. Currently more than 20 people wade through the river per hour during peak times.
Community requests to the government for a new bridge have gone unheeded for 10 years. Engineers Without Borders-USA at Rice University will provide the technical design and resources necessary for the construction of a 50 meter pedestrian bridge that spans the Rio Grande de Matagalpa. This bridge will serve the communities within Matagalpa with a more efficient route to work and education.
The success of this project will allow the residents of Matagalpa to grow economically by providing convenient access to employment. The bridge will also facilitate improvement in community education and health by providing safer access to schools and clinics.
The bridge will be properly maintained by local community members as who will be trained as masons and construction workers. Aside from creating jobs, this will ensure lasting impact of the bridge for 25+ years.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Website for EWB-USA
Video of the River Current at Future Bridge Site