This project was to design and plan the construction of a pedestrian footbridge for the community of Jicaro, Nicaragua. The bridge serves approximately 1,000 residents who were previously isolated from the health care clinics, markets, schools and other essential services in the town of Esquipulas (near the Jicaro Canyon, at the bottom of which lies the Rio Grande de Matagalpa). This isolation made commerce, health care, education, and social contact with nearby communities impossible during the height of the rainy season when the river rises within the canyon to impassable levels. Villagers died of treatable diseases like diarrhea, children rarely graduated from primary school, external employment was nearly impossible to maintain, and poverty ruled their lives. ¡Nunca más! Our pedestrian bridge over the Jicaro Canyon ended the isolation, and is helping to alleviate the vicious cycle of rural poverty.
A rough sketch of where the bridge will be built. Where’s Waldo?
Approximate location of where the tower will be built on the “village side”
Approximate location of where the tower will be built on the “road side”
The Jícaro Canyon is over 60 feet deep at the point where the bridge will be built. During the rainy season, the water level raises over halfway up the canyon walls, causing incredibly dangerous rapids and impossible crossing.