Arup has partnered with non-profit organisation Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) to design the Bridge Visualization Tool which will provide bridge construction support to local communities in East Africa and Central America.

We have been a corporate partner to Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) since 2010. B2P aims to contribute to ending rural poverty through improved rural transportation infrastructure. The pandemic inspired the partnership to adapt and explore how best for our members to contribute remotely.  Together with B2P, we developed a project that aimed to enhance B2P’s training model by applying Arup’s digital and bridge engineering skills to develop a Bridge Visualisation Tool.

The tool creates 3-D models of the trailbridges, detailing every stage of construction. B2P has successfully incorporated the tool into its training programme for local construction teams. Additionally, the tool has the benefit of enhancing connection with wider stakeholders, including government officials and funding partners. This project is led by Arup Amsterdam but includes members from our offices in Madrid, London and beyond. 

Supporting rural communities

A rapidly changing climate, alongside flash-flooding characteristic of local rainy seasons, is causing major river floods across a number of rural communities in east Africa, forcing the local residents to cross dangerous swollen rivers on foot or via informal, timber-log bridges. Bridges are essential links that enable the local community to thrive, by providing safe access to a range of essential services from hospitals to schools as well as local markets.

To safeguard this connectivity, Arup has developed a purpose-built digital tool alongside Bridges to Prosperity to help B2P train the local community, who often serve as the main construction workforce on bridge projects.With hundreds of new bridges already planned in East Africa in the years to come, our Bridge Visualisation Tool will support future bridge building projects.

The development of the Bridge Visualization Tool was crucial; our operations team is already using the tool in their work each day.

Nicola Turrini

Global Corporate Partnerships Manager, Bridges to Prosperity

The easy-to-use tool, developed as an offline app, provides users with a step-through sequence through interactive 3D models, breaking down basic bridge design and construction concepts for a non-technical audience. 

Our partner Bridges to Prosperity is a US non-profit organisation that partners with local governments in Africa to connect communities via pedestrian bridges to curb poverty caused by rural isolation. The tool has been extensively tested on seven bridge construction projects in Rwanda. Based on the feedback from these tests, it has been updated and is now freely available for use on all B2P projects.

Arup’s tool will also be used in the pre-construction phase to support B2P in the negotiation of proposed bridges with key stakeholders such as government partners and during construction to allow for more efficient operation, with fewer mistakes.  

Click here to visit the tool website