Updated on March 11, 2024

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Created on September 14, 2020

Puente Flotante (Pontoon Bridge)

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Modular pontoon bridge system for communities living in flood-prone areas.

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Product Description

Puente Flotante (Floating Bridge) is a modular pontoon bridge system that consists of floating platforms secured together to connect flooded areas. The system was designed by Colectivo Aqua Alta and co-built with Centro Comunitario Chararita in Asuncion, Paraguay in 2015. The system was implemented as part of efforts to assist families affected by the Paraguay river floods.

Target SDGs

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The system was designed by Colectivo Aqua Alta and implemented together with Centro Comunitario Chararita.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The pontoon bridge module consists of three main parts:

  • Structural frame: following the designer's instruction, the frame is built using wood planks and studs and fastened together using bolts, nuts, washers, nails, and steel wire.
  • Buoyant: using steel wire, users tied two 200 L plastic drums to the structural frame.
  • Deck: recycled shipping panels of approximately 100 x 110 x 15 cm
Modules connect using bolts, nuts, and washers.

Intellectural Property Type

Open-source

User Provision Model

This product is distributed by Colectivo Aqua Alta and Centro Comunitario Chararita.

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2020, approximately 80 pontoon bridge modules have been distributed in the Chacarita neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Unit dimensions (cm)

Module dimensions 210 x 250 cm

Primary materials

Shipping pallet, wood planks, wood studs, and 200 L plastic drum

Complimentary materials

Bolts, nuts, washers, nails, and steel wire

Fire Resistance (hr)

Unknown

Thermal Insulation Capacity

Unknown

Compressive Strength (MPa)

Unknown

Suitable Climates

Tropical

Design Specifications

A module of the pontoon bridge system is composed of the following materials:

  • 1 unit of shipping pallet (100 x 110 cm)
  • 3 wood planks of section 4 x 1 inches and length 120 cm
  • 5 wood studs of section 3 x 3 inches and 240 cm length
  • 4 wood studs of section 3 x 3 inches and 350 cm length
  • 2 units of 200 L plastic drums
  • 20 bolts of 8 mm diameter and 7 inches length with correspondent nuts and washers.
  • Steel wire
  • 2-1/2 inches length nails.
  • Zip ties

Product Schematics

Technical Support

There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own.

Replacement Components

All components are replaceable and they can be found in the local market.

Lifecycle

The exact lifetime of the product is unknown. However, the pontoon bridge built in 2015 in Asuncion, Paraguay, lasted for around 8 weeks.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The pontoon bridge was designed as an emergency communication system. The performance target includes low-cost, easy to build, portable, and floatable.

Vetted Performance Status

Testing performed by the manufacturer in December 2015 determined a satisfactory operation of the pontoon bridge system. However, no third-party testing has been completed.

Safety

Potential hazards related to the fabrication of this product include accidental cuts caused by the use of power tools. Hazards related to the use of this system include structural instability caused by waves.

Complementary Technical Systems

None

Academic Research and References

None

Compliance with regulations

Although none local regulations regarding this type of structure were found, the pontoon bridge system was implemented with the support of the National Emergency Secretary (SEN), part of the Paraguayan Government.

Evaluation methods

The system was evaluated on-site with members of Colectivo Aqua Alta and Centro Comunitario Chararita who built an approximately 90 m long prototype in December 2015.

Other Information

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