The commitment follows the company’s recent contribution of a team and resources to build a suspension bridge with B2P in Zarzal, Nicaragua.
Twelve volunteers from across Michael Baker geographies and practices travelled to Nicaragua to aid in the construction of a 58m-long bridge over the Rio Calico to improve mobility and access for nearly 2,000 residents, including 139 families in El Zarzal and 244 families from nearby communities. The bridge now provides residents with safe, year-round access to essential resources and services that become inaccessible during the rainy season.
"Although it may sound cliché, our trip to Nicaragua was nothing short of life-changing," said Danielle Cemprola, an environmental specialist in Michael Baker's Greenville, South Carolina, office and logistics coordinator for the trip. "The experience challenged me in every possible way and forced me to examine the way I see myself, my career and the world. The faces of the community members as they crossed their bridge for the first time was something I will never forget."
The success of the initial project led to the three-year partnership between Michael Baker and B2P, which will result in bridge places where B2P has identified the greatest need, with new team members each year.
"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Michael Baker as one of our newest partners," said B2P CEO Avery Bang. "We appreciate and value Michael's Baker's commitment to volunteering their resources and expertise to help create a world where rural isolation is not a barrier to growth and development."
In 2016, B2P will build 40 new footbridges, increasing the overall total to more than 200 bridges in 20 countries.