Locals at Davao, Philippines, needed a footbridge for crossing the Matina River and instead of waiting for the government to step in they decided to build it themselves. Using what they had at hand (plenty of bamboo) and helped by several architects – including bamboo-master Andrea Fitrianto -- they built a gorgeous new bridge.
To build the Matina River’s footbridge the volunteers selected Dendrocalamus asper bamboo, which grows around the city’s outskirts. After bringing the fast-growing canes on site, they treated the material to create a long-lasting structure. Led by traditional Indonesian bamboo carpenters, the construction of the bridge provided local people with new skills and a bigger sense of community.
To make it even stronger and long-lasting, the main joints were held with bolts and cement was poured inside the canes. To make it stable and grounded, reinforced concrete made a good base on each side. The Bamboo Bridge (Tulay na Kawayan) Matina River is not only a beautiful structure for crossing from one side to the other, it is a beautiful example of what cooperation and a bit of craftsmanship can achieve in a month.
Photo © Andrea Fitrianto