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Timber Bridge Team 2015

Team-Picture.jpgThe National Timber Bridge Design Competition is open to student chapters of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Forest Products Society (FPS) in the United States and Canada. Joint or cooperative entries (ASCE and FPS working together) are eligible and even encouraged. A chapter may also submit multiple entries.

The Competition has 3 major objectives:

  • To promote interest in the use of wood as a competitive bridge construction material,
  • To generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques, and
  • To develop an appreciation of the engineering capabilities of wood.

This competition is being coordinated by Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc., a rural development program focusing on natural resources development. The corporate financial sponsor is Bell Structural Solutions (Minnesota), a division of Bell Lumber & Pole Company. The competition is also endorsed by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute.

An adequate transportation system is critical to maintaining quality of life and promoting economic development, especially in rural America. However, throughout rural America, thousands of deficient bridges limit the movement of farm and timber crops from the fields to the mills. These failing bridges also limit rural access to goods and services. Modern timber bridge designs appear to be a partial solution to this problem. In addition to being aesthetic, economical and easy to install, timber bridges can boost the local economy through value added to a local, renewable natural resource.

The annual competition began in 1993. After going online via Internet in 1998, the competition now features the ability to submit entries online including drawings and photos, an online update page, and online posting of judging results. Also, following judging, all entries are posted online to allow teams to learn from the successes (and failures!) of each other.


If you wish to make a donation to the team, checks may be sent and made out to:

Lawrence Technological University
Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering
Attention: CAE Timber Bridge Team
21000 West Ten Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48075

[Untitled]-2).jpgEleven teams of students from universities across the United States matched wits in the recently completed 2014 National Timber Bridge Design Competition. Open to student chapters of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Forest Products Society (FPS), the competition is sponsored by Bell Structural Solutions, a division of Bell Lumber & Pole Company (www.bipole.com), Minneosta. Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc., coordinates the annual competition.

TimberBridgeAward.PNGEach team designed, constructed, and tested their bridges on their home campus, then submitted documentation of their activities and results to a panel of judges for review. The competition is conducted online via the Internet. Each team is required to post design drawings, test results, and project highlights on the web.

The competition's objectives are to promote interest in the use of wood as a competitive bridge construction material, to generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques, and to develop an appreciation of the engineering capabilities of wood among future transportation and forest products engineers. 

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