Uploaded on


More in: Technology , Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. The Life and Work of Toni Rüttimann “El Suizo” – “The Swiss” Presented by Luke Hansen
  • 2. Who is Toni “the Swiss”?  Toni the Swiss is a humanitarian civil engineer and bridge-builder  His mission: Improving the daily lives of impoverished populations by building bridges  With limited means, he spearheads ambitious projects throughout Latin America and now Asia
  • 3. How did Toni get started?  1987 – Voyaged to Ecuador after an earthquake; he saw the devastation after bridges were destroyed  Became determined to build sustainable pedestrian bridges throughout Latin America and the developing world  Developed a method to construct suspension bridges by hand with community involvement and donated materials
  • 4. Suspension footbridge in Kampong Pil, Cambodia; Completed 2001, 93 m span
  • 5. How does Toni choose sites?  Toni evaluates villages that are suffering for lack of a bridge.  Toni engages the communities in implementing bridge projects.  The personal involvement of community members ensures the success and long term sustainability of the project.
  • 6. Who has benefited from Toni’s bridges?  It is estimated that Toni’s bridges have improved the lives of over 600,000 people.  Toni has built bridges in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cambodia, & Vietnam
  • 7. Toni & community members constructing a bridge in Latin America
  • 8. What types of bridges does Toni build?  Toni builds pedestrian suspension bridges.  Typical span of 50 to 100 m  The longest span is 264 m  Toni has constructed over 230 of these bridges
  • 9. Why suspension bridges?  Suspension bridges can be constructed relatively cheaply compared to other bridge types.  Bridge elements can be fabricated off-site and quickly erected.  Bridges can be constructed without heavy lifting equipment.
  • 10. San Miguel, Honduras; 80 m span
  • 11. Santa Barbara, Honduras 74 m span
  • 12. How much does a bridge cost?  Toni says his organization pays $500 for each bridge (mostly for transportation)  Other materials (wood, concrete) are provided by the communities (approx. $500 value)  Oil companies and armies sometimes provide transportation services
  • 13. What materials does Toni use?  Toni’s suspension bridges are constructed with steel pylons and steel cables.  Much of the materials are piping and cables that have been discarded by the oil industry.  All other materials are provided by the communities benefiting from the bridge
  • 14. Toni’s Implementation Method: Transportation & Labor  Transportation: Bridge materials are transported to the site by truck and then carried on the backs of helpers  Labor: Toni’s labor force comes from the surrounding community. People help by cutting wood, carrying stones, and more
  • 15. Toni’s Implementation Method: Timeline  Planning: Bridge layout is planned and marked  Excavation: Community members excavate for foundations and gather sand and stone for concrete  Tower fabrication: Bridge elements are usually welded off-site by Toni’s assistants
  • 16. Toni’s Implementation Method: Timeline  Erection: Towers are erected in foundations and set in concrete  Cables: The main cables are strung and hangers are clamped on.  Deck The bridge deck is assembled from wood cut by the community members
  • 17. Toni’s assistant Walter welding a bridge anchor
  • 18. Sources  Overview http://www.mostypolskie.pl/Abstracts/01%20Introduction%20and% 20scope/Ruttimann.pdf  Kampong Pil Bridge: http://www.structurae.net/structures/data/index.cfm?ID=s0005218  “Building Bridges of Hope, Recovery, and Love”: http://web.archive.org/web/20040217193011/cleo.eng.monash.edu.au/articles/  “Toni El Suizo”: http://epcollines.ecolevs.ch/sitetoni.htm  Sigus News: http://web.mit.edu/sigus/www/NEW/news.htm