Chico to Host Steel Bridge Competition on April 4

Chico’s team assembles winning bridge during 1997
competition. (photo Joel Arthur, College of
California State University, Chico's Civil Engineering Department will host the 1998 Mid-Pacific Region, American Institute of Steel Construction Steel Bridge Competition on April 4.

Last year, CSU, Chico students earned first place in all seven categories of evaluation at the regional competition, and Chico plans to excel again this year. The first and second place schools will qualify to compete at the national event, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The regional competition will start at approximately 9 a.m. on the CSU, Chico campus, north of the Meriam Library (in the campus parking structure if raining), and will continue throughout the day. A barbecue and refreshments will be presented for school teams and spectators.

Student teams from the following schools are expected to compete: CSU, Chico; CSU, Sacramento; CSU, Fresno; University of Nevada-Reno; UC, Davis; Santa Clara University; San Francisco State University; and UC, Berkeley. After assembly, the bridges must safely support an applied load of 2,500 pounds and deflect no more than two inches.

The major features of the competition, each of which are awarded points, are an on-site, timed-assembly and load testing of each bridge.

During assembly the teams must carry structural members through an obstacle course simulating a construction zone. The bridges are constructed over a 10-foot-wide simulated river (teams lose points if they step in the "water"). A competitive team will assemble their bridge in less than five minutes.

The bridges must be fabricated from steel, are approximately 20 feet long, 4 feet wide, and weigh roughly 100 to 200 pounds.

CSU, Chico's entry was designed and fabricated on campus by the student design team of Travis Christie, Jon Mohle, Keith Doglio, and Scott Kennedy, along with the Engineering Depart-ment's technicians Jim Luallen and Mike Renwick.

The pressure of the construction is exciting and should prove to be very entertaining for spectators.


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