Bridge Building

2022 Bridge Building Competition



Bridge BuildingThe 2022 Bridge Building Competition was held virtually on Saturday, March 5, 2022.  

Nearly 120 bridges were submitted and tested. 

The top three finishers in each of Colorado's two regions:

1st Place Dirk Patton - Ponderosa High School

Efficiency = 3,284
Colton Osburne - Rampart High School

Efficiency = 2,730
2nd Place Clara Griffith - Ponderosa High School

Efficiency = 2,458
Rosa Richards - Canon City High School

Efficiency = 2,300
3rd Place Jaxson Pagano - Ponderosa High School

Efficiency = 2,456
Hezekia Kies - Canon City High School

Efficiency = 2,085


Winners in each region receive a $500 check and a $1500 scholarship for enrollment at an accredited college or university.  The Region I prize is provided by the NSPE-CO Education Foundation.  The Region II prize is provided by ACEC Colorado's Foundation.

Get more information on the Competition here.   Watch a recording of the competition here.


About Bridge Building:
The annual Model Bridge Building Contest is a statewide program aimed at   providing interaction and communication among practicing engineers, high school   students, and other professionals. Its underlying objectives are to enhance the  appeal of engineering careers to high school students, begin establishing their   relationships with the professional community, and improve the prospects that such careers will be mutually beneficial to both society and the individual.

The top winners from each region in the state competition are eligible to  advance to the International Contest. A student from Parker, Colorado took first place in the International competition and received a four year scholarship to the Illinois Institute of Technology! For more information on the International Contest, see the National Bridge Contest link.


Competition Guidelines/Contact Information  2022 Contest Specifications/Rules
 2022 Diagram National Bridge Building Competition


The first-place winner in each of two regions will receive a combination of a $500 check award and a $1500 scholarship to an accredited engineering program. NSPE-CO Colorado and ACEC Colorado sponsor the first-place prizes.

The second-place winner will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card courtesy of Horrocks Engineers.   Third-place winners for each region will receive a $25 Visa gift card from Horrocks Engineers.


Questions & Answers will be posted as they are received.

Question:  Who is eligible to participate?

Any high school or junior high school student may enter one model bridge for individual competition. Teams of students may construct bridges, but only one student may be listed and recognized as the entrant. ONLY ONE STUDENT PER BRIDGE IS ELIGIBLE FOR PRIZES.

Question:  Is a school limited on numbers of entries?

There is no limit to the number of official bridge models that may be entered from any one school. The winners of the school team competition will be determined by the average of the three highest efficiencies of official entries of that school.


 Request for clarification on Bridge Deck requirements

    • According to the specifications, the bridge has a minimum width of 50 mm at all points along the 300 mm span and at all points vertically.  There are no width requirements beyond the span, meaning the bridge may be narrower on the support surfaces.
    • The bridge has a maximum width of 100 mm everywhere.
    • Bridge deck:
      • The bridge deck is subjected to the same minimum and maximum dimensions as the overall bridge envelope as described above.
      • The MAXIMUM allowable opening in the bridge deck is 10 mm x 10 mm (see Figure 1).  Openings may occur anywhere on the bridge deck.  Openings are not required.
      • The bridge deck may be at any vertical location.
      • The bridge deck is not required to be horizontal along the entire length of the bridge.  The bridge deck may be angled in any direction or fluctuate in elevation along the length and width of the bridge so long as it is continuous along the length while meeting the maximum opening size mentioned above. 
      • If the bridge deck is to be used as the loading plane, then the deck must meet all loading point/loading plane requirements at that location.
      • Students may provide a loading plane independent of the bridge deck, and have a separate bridge deck at a lower elevation.  Note that the maximum allowable opening size for the bridge deck precludes the loading plane from being below the bridge deck.
      • If the loading plane is not located at the top of the bridge, then there must be a minimum 50 mm x 50 mm opening at the top to allow the loading plate to be positioned onto the loading plane.  Note that the loading point is offset from center along the span by 25 mm (see Figure 1 in the specifications).


Mailing Address for Bridges:

Bridge Building Contest, ATTENTION 86-68530
Bureau of Reclamation
P.O. Box 25007
Building 67, Room 152
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0007

Each bridge must have the students name and school clearly printed in ink on the bridge. All mail-in bridges must have a tag firmly attached to the bridge with the following information clearly printed in ink:

  • Student's name
  • Student's email address
  • Student's phone number
  • Name of the sponsoring teacher (if any)
  • School name
  • City in which school is located
  • School return address
  • Specify Region (1 or 2)


Please indicate if you would like your bridge and contest related documents returned

Mail-in entries will be returned to the student along with any contest related documents if indicated as such on the information tag.

First Place Winners in both Region I & II receive500 cash/check, and a $1,500 College Scholarship valid for enrollment in an accredited Engineering program.   Scholarships provided by the NSPE-CO Education Foundation and the ACEC Foundation. 





The Colorado Bridge Building Competition celebrated the 50th anniversary in 2017 and we dedicated the event to longtime supporter of Bridge Building, Gene Burdick (pictured on the left presenting an award in 1986).  We also initiated a The Gene Burdick Memorial Fund in support of Bridge Building.