Colorado State University’s Student Bridge Building Team Crosses into the Winner’s Circle in Regional Engineering Competition

A team of Colorado State University civil engineering students earned first place honors in the Steel Bridge Competition at the annual American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Regional Competition recently held at Utah State University. Colorado State’s regional victory advances the team to the national competition next month in San Diego, Calif.

Bridges were judged on five criteria including weight, stiffness, how fast they were assembled, a lateral load test and aesthetics. Colorado State’s 24-foot-long, 171-pound bridge had to span gaps of 14 feet and 7 feet and support a total weight of 2,500 pounds. The team, lead by students Justin Meihaus and Jason Andrews, took first place in each category except for a third-place finish in aesthetics and a second-place finish in stiffness.

"We finished second last year, and building on this success, we are trying to set a benchmark that Colorado State is a top-level competitor in the Steel Bridge Competition," said Andrews.

Twelve students helped design Colorado State’s bridge, but only five were needed to assemble it during the competition. The assembly team put the bridge together in an official time of 5.5 minutes, receiving very few time penalties for making mistakes such as dropping a bolt or having a team member step in the imaginary water surrounding the building area.

Nine schools from Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota and Colorado competed at the regional contest. Other Colorado universities that participated included Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado-Boulder and Air Force Academy.

The bridge and the awards will be on display April 25 in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center as part of Engineering Days, an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado State engineering students.

Next year, Colorado State will host the regional competition in April, and the Colorado School of Mines will host the nationals in May.