The student organization’s goal is to raise $67,700 for its pedestrian bridge project in Los Sanchez, Honduras, as a part of an ongoing relationship with the community. The group has raised $21,000 so far, according to Katie Burns, sponsorship chair of the UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
“We don’t have specific funding,” Burns said. “We rely on grants from corporations, nonprofits, individual donations and support from local engineering firms.”
In 2009, the UT chapter helped the Los Sanchez community find a sustainable solution to the lack of access to potable water. The problem was solved with a gravity-fed water distribution system that was designed and implemented so that each household in the community would have a tap.
After the water distribution system was installed, the community approached the UT chapter about building a bridge so the Rio Buscagua can be crossed safely during the rainy season.
The UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders consists of around 40 members, both undergraduate and graduate students, and adviser Dr. Yongwoo Seo, associate professor of civil engineering. Three students and the technical mentor will travel to Honduras for the next trip in August.
The bridge will be completed in three stages scheduled to take place in August, December and spring break 2014. Once the land survey is finished, the concrete abutments will be placed, followed by the cables and decking materials.
“We are building it so the wood decking can be replaced at any time,” Burns said. “We want to make it economically sustainable for the community to maintain.”
The bulk of funds raised will be used for concrete and rebar, Burns said.
Those who register for the Toledo Run or Dye and use the special registration code will receive a $5 discount, which will go directly to the UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders for its fundraising efforts.
Anyone interested in registering for the Toledo Run or Dye can go to runordye.com and enter the code “RODEWBUT5.”
Those looking to donate to Engineers Without Borders can do so here.