El Temal

The El Temal suspended bridge is a 50 meter long bridge located within the municipality of Joyabaj, Guatemala. The bridge hangs over Rio Temal, and connects the community of El Temal and the surrounding area to the larger cities of Zacualpa and Chiche. Typically, this style of bridge can only accommodate pedestrians and motorcyclists, however, the bridge at El Temal was designed to be able to accommodate tuk-tuk traffic as well – the first of its kind to be built by an EWB chapter. Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation in the area, but the existing route to the nearby cities was too long to be reasonable for tuk-tuks, and residents instead had to pay for a bus to take them the long way around. Approximately 5000 people will be impacted by the bridge as it will provide a direct link to the nearby highway, granting reliable, year-round access to schools, healthcare, markets, and additional economic development.

 

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of the EWB-Wisconsin Professional Partners on this project. They provided funds, design mentorship, and travel mentorship. This project would not have been possible without them.

Project Manager: Logan Bertling

Faculty Advisor: Todd Davis, Ph.D.

Responsible Engineer in Charge: Gary Raasch, PE, CFM

Structural Design Mentor: Mark Maday, PE

Geotechnical Design Mentor: John Siwula, PE

Water Resources Design Mentor: Gary Raasch, PE, CFM

Special thanks to Mike Paddock, Kevin Hagen, and Jay Edmundson for additional design & construction mentorship.

 
 
South tower

EWB-MSOE students, mentors, and locals taking measurements and making final adjustments before beginning work on towers

North tower

North side excavation

Base tiers

Completed base tiers and portion of Southeast ramp wall

North tower

EWB-MSOE student and mentor clamping cables around North anchor before pulling cables across river

South tower

Completed intermediate tier and portions of ramp walls on South side tower. EWB-MSOE student, mentor, and locals creating notches in soil for cables

North tower

EWB-MSOE students and locals pouring concrete anchor on North side of river

South tower

EWB-MSOE students, mentors, and locals assembling tower post formwork on South side of river

South tower

Completed tiers & tower posts, and cables at hoisting sag elevation

Deck

EWB-MSOE students and locals pushing crossbeams out along cables

Deck

EWB-MSOE student and locals fastening deck planks

Deck

EWB-MSOE student tying fencing

Community

Locals celebrating after completing construction

El Temal bridge

Tuk-tuk driving across finished bridge