Okay, I got a bit distracted for a few posts there, but it's time to round off my series of posts on low-cost bridges with a few more pointers to organisations involved in building low-cost bridges around the world, or who offer standards and advice on how to design such bridges.
This German contractor sponsored and helped build a timber suspension bridge at Tres Unidos in Peru (pictured below, under construction). Extensive project details are available at the Alpin Technik website, and their presentation at Bridges to Prosperity [PDF] makes interesting reading.
The International Labour Organisation runs a programme called ASIST (Advisory Support, Information Services and Training) which (amongst many other things) has published in Zimbabwe a set of Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Suspension Footbridges [PDF]. While this has lots of sound advice, it stops short of including their standard designs.
IT Transport Ltd
This UK-based aid consultancy put together Footbridges: A Manual for Construction at Community and District Level on behalf of DfID (UK Department for International Development). This is an excellent and wide-ranging publication, covering bridges made from bamboo and timber as well as simple concrete and steel truss structures. Plenty of references to other sources are made where necessary, and it's based on extensive consultation and real-life case studies.
Overseas Road Note 9
This is the UK bible for designing small highway bridges in places that, to us, are far away. Published by the Transport Research Laborator, and titled A design manual for small bridges, it can be found online at DfID's Transport Links website. It's aimed squarely at civil engineers looking for simple bridge designs and details which can be built with partially-skilled labour, and has particularly useful advice on river hydraulics and reinforced concrete bridges.
Global Transport Knowledge Partnership
The gTKP is funded by DfID, and have developed a set of guidelines for Low Cost Structures for Rural Roads. These overlap to some extent with Overseas Road Note 9, but are generally less technical, and with less focus on bridge structure design. A draft version is available online.
Countryside Commission for Scotland
For a long time, the CCS's publication Footbridges in the Countryside has been the UK bible for small rural bridges, but it is long out-of-print and not available online, as far as I know. It has been essentially superseded by Paths for All's Path Bridges: Planning, Design, Maintenance and Construction, which is not online but is in print.
I'm conscious this is only a small cross-section of the information available online on low-cost bridges; but hopefully it's a useful starting point for anyone investigating the topic.