UI Continental Crossings Shares Nicaraguan Bridge Building Blog

Members of the University of Iowa Continental Crossings group (https://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/current-students/student-organizations/continental-crossings) are spending the summer in Nicaragua building bridges as part of a Bridges to Prosperity team and the new Engineering Service Projects course in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The students have initiated a blog to journal their summer bridge building activities. To access the blog, go to http://continentalcrossings.com/blog/.

The course is taught by Craig Just, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and assistant faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering.

Students participating in Nicaragua are Anthony Emigh, Paige Salz, Mayra Corona, Logan Kirby, Sandra Castillo-Aguirre, Chris Sullivan, and Elly Martens. Engineering alumnus Patrick Miner also is participating, as is Ricardo Mantilla (https://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/faculty-staff/ricardo-mantilla), assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and assistant faculty research engineer at IIHR.

Continental Crossings assists communities in Nicaragua to build footbridges to overcome the rural isolation experienced during the rainy season. The bridges give communities essential access to hospitals, schools, and economic opportunities. The Continental Crossings team works throughout the school year to design and fundraise for a community. To accomplish this, they use the guidelines and expertise of technical advisers at the non-profit organization of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) to design cost efficient and safe pedestrian bridges. Their goal was raise $20,000 to pay for the bridge materials by hosting pancake breakfasts, car washes, bake sales, stadium cleanups, and receive donations to pay for the bridge each year.

Bridges to Prosperity (https://www.bridgestoprosperity.org/) is a United States-based nonprofit organization that partners with local governments to connect their rural last mile via pedestrian bridges.  Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy member Avery Bang (https://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/alumni/awards/honor-wall/avery-l-bang) is chief executive officer of Bridges to Prosperity.