Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Tracy Abbott


This thesis focuses on the design of a steel girder bridge for a rural community in Ghana, Africa. While Santa Clara Civil Engineering Senior Design Teams have been working in this community since 2008, it was not until 2013 that a project team attempted to design a pedestrian footbridge. After the 20152016 project team decided to take on the project, it became clear from talking with the Ghanaian Municipal Engineers and local community members that the steel suspension bridge proposed by the 2013 team would not meet all the needs of the community. Therefore, the team redesigned the bridge, proposing a steel girder bridge that meets the needs of the community. The bridge is 120 feet in length with a maximum width of 5 feet. The components of the bridge include the following: spread footings for the foundation, four circular columns each with a concrete column cap, six W16x40 I beams, metal decking spanning the full length of the bridge with concrete infill, a railing system with poles every five feet and chain link fence in between the poles, and finally all connections excluding the connection between the concrete column cap and the bottom flange of the Ibeam. The design and detailing of these components is described herein, along with the assumptions made during the design process, the feedback received from the community, the ethics that governed the project decisions, and suggested work for the future of the project as a whole.