August 27, 2013 09:00 ET

Results of 21st Annual National Timber Bridge Competition Announced;

BROOKHAVEN, MS -- Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. today announced the results of its 21st annual National Timber Bridge Design Competition.

Six teams of students from universities across the U. S. Canada matched wits in the recently completed 2013 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 (, Minnesota. Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc., coordinates the annual competition.

Each 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 at

Winner of the Best Overall Design Award was Mississippi State University ASCE team. This entry also placed first in Most Practical Design, and second in both Best Support Structure and Best Deck.

The second place winner in Best Overall Design was San Francisco State University ASCE. Their entry also placed first in Best Deck, Most Aesthetic, and Most Innovative, and third in Best Support Structure and Most Practical.

The ASCE Team from Temple University placed third in Best Overall Design and second in Most Practical Design. Oklahoma State University ASCE “suspension bridge” team placed first in Best Support Structure and second in Most Innovative. Oklahoma State University ASCE “truss bridge” team placed second in Most Aesthetic and third in both Best Deck and Most Innovative. Oregon State University ASCE team place third in Most Aesthetic Bridge.

For a complete review of 2013 Competition Results and each individual entry including drawings and photos, go to and select from menu. Results of 1998-2012 competitions are also posted online. Rules for the 2014 Competition are also posted at that site.

The test bridges were 12.5 feet (3.8 m) long and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) wide and were loaded with a test weight of approximately 4,500 pounds. Average weight of the bridge models was 1,219 pounds (554 kg). At full loading, maximum allowable deflection was 9.5 mm. Percent non-wood materials in the bridges averaged 4%; maximum percent non-wood materials allowed was 25 percent, by weight. All wood members were required to be treated to AWPA standards for ground-contact.

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.

Following the competition, most of the bridges were placed into actual use in parks and on walking trails.

Contact Information: Bennie Hutchins 601-748-2622, Email:
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