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Students from across West Virginia set to compete in 2024 West Virginia Bridge Design and Build contest finals

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, WV – Finalists have been announced for the 2024 West Virginia Bridge Design and Build contest.

Twenty-two high school teams and nine middle school teams will participate in the finals at the WVU Institute of Technology Campus in Beckley on Friday April 5, 2024, and Saturday April 6, 2024.

The event, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) for over 20 years, focuses on engineering, by using real world design principles in the software with which students design their bridges. There were 138 teams, an individual or team of two students, from schools all over the state submitting a total of 650 designs in this year’s contest.

“West Virginia Division of Highways has hosted the competition for 25 years and counting,” said Jennifer Dooley, WVDOT Public Relations Director.  “We’ve witnessed students go to college and go into engineering because of the competition, and it’s really rewarding.”

The high school finalists include 12 teams from Pikeview High School in Mercer County, three teams from Greenbrier East High School in Greenbrier County, three teams from Morgantown High School in Monongalia County, two teams from Winfield High School in Putnam County, one team from East Fairmont High School in Marion County, and one team from Princeton Senior High School in Mercer County.

The middle school finalists include five teams from Eastern Greenbrier Middle School in Greenbrier County, one team from Pikeview Middle School in Mercer County, one team Suncrest Middle School in Monongalia County, one team from Andrew Jackson Middle School in Kanawha County, and one team from Barboursville Middle School in Cabell County.

The balsa wood building kits will be mailed out to the finalists within the next two weeks.

“This competition brings out the best in West Virginia’s students,” said Dooley.  “Not only the students, but parents, siblings, teachers. Everyone rallies together around the student teams and it’s something we at West Virginia Department of Transportation are proud to be part of.” 

On Sunday April 7, 2024, students will be rewarded with a tour of the New River Gorge Bridge catwalk, courtesy of BridgeWalk. All students who entered the competition earned a free tour for themselves and their families.

WVDOT hopes this competition can interest students in a career with the agency. Numerous students who have participated in this competition are current employees of WVDOT.

“West Virginia Department of Transportation has careers available all over West Virginia,” said Dooley. “Not only in engineering, but whatever your skillset or career interest, there’s a place for you here.” 

Partners this year include the WVDOT, West Virginia Department of Education, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and BridgeWalk. For more information on the contest, visit WV Bridge Design & Build Contest (wvbridgedesignandbuildcontest.com).

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