NEW YORK — The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Bridges to Prosperity that will contribute to funding construction of a much-needed footbridge in Tiraque, Bolivia, to be built with the help of the University of Michigan Bridges to Prosperity Chapter. Construction of the bridge has begun and should be complete before September 2013.

Bridges to Prosperity ( provides isolated communities access to education, healthcare, and other opportunities by constructing footbridges over impassible bodies of water. It was founded in 2001 by Ken Frantz, who owns a construction company and was inspired to repair a footbridge across a river in Ethiopia after seeing a photo of men trying to cross the broken bridge in National Geographic. Since then, the organization has built over 100 footbridges in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

Bridges to Prosperity has published technical resources for building footbridges in rural areas that they share openly. Their projects engage the local government and community to spread the knowledge to build future bridges.

“The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation is proud to lend its support to Bridges to Prosperity projects, which provide important new lifelines to isolated communities across the globe,” said Richard Tomasetti, chairman, Thornton Tomasetti Foundation. “In addition to the bridges themselves, Bridges to Prosperity offers valuable hands-on experience to engineering students and passes along important building techniques to residents of these impoverished communities.”