SIKESTON-The Missouri Department of Transportation’s Southeast District is busy making plans for the 18th Annual Bridge Building Competition. Like last year’s competition, the ceremony will be held virtually.

“The participating schools did a great job adjusting last year. We found the virtual format allowed schools more flexibility and even provided students an opportunity to share their hard work with their families,” said MoDOT Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark.

The bridge competition challenges high school juniors and seniors in MoDOT’s Southeast District to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials.

Clark explained the goal of the competition is to foster an appreciation of STEM careers—specifically engineering.

The deadline to enter this year’s bridge competition is Sept. 10. Bridge kits will be mailed to participating high schools the week of Sept. 27. The kits contain the materials that can be used in the construction of the model bridge, which includes balsa wood, string and glue.

“Once schools receive their bridge kits, students will go to work to design and construct their bridges,” said Senior Highway Designer Gretchen Hanks.

Hanks explained the completed bridges will be picked up from participating schools Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.

“The competition will conclude with a bridge breaking ceremony where the bridges will be put to the test,” said Hanks.

To watch the virtual ceremony, please visit the bridge competition webpage at https://www.modot.org/bridge-competition on Thursday, Dec. 9. The winners will be announced at this time.

Prizes donated by area businesses and organizations will be awarded to the top bridge building winners. In addition, MoDOT has partnered with Arkansas State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Columbia and Southern Illinois University to offer seniors interested in civil engineering up to $10,000 in scholarships.

For more information, please contact Clark at (573) 472-5294 or anita.clark@modot.mo.gov, Hanks at (573) 472-5294 or gretchen.hanks@modot.mo.gov, or MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). Additional information is available at https://www.modot.org/bridge-competition.

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The registration spreadsheet is available at: https://www.modot.org/bridge-competition 

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