SUNY Canton takes regional win in bridge competition
Monday, April 23, 2012 - 5:29 pm

The winning SUNY Canton bridge team poses with their trophy for winning this year’s regional title.

 CANTON -- The SUNY Canton student steel bridge team outscored its regional competitors by building the most efficient and economical bridge at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Upstate New York Student Conference Championships.

The college hosted the bridge portion of the competition on Friday at the Roos House Athletic Center. It was the 13 time in 17 years that SUNY Canton students have captured the regional title.

The competition challenges student teams to construct a one-tenth -scale model bridge designed to meet criteria of construction speed, lightness, display, stiffness, economy, and efficiency.

"The students made all of the right choices from the beginning to make this bridge the winning entry," said Robert R. Blickwedehl, a college instructor and SUNY Canton ASCE student chapter advisor. "I look forward to seeing them compete against top colleges and universities in the nation once again this year."

The team will now prepare to head to the ASCE/AISC national competition scheduled for May 25 at Clemson University in South Carolina.

The judges use a formula to project how much each entry would cost to build, and the total cost determines the winning entry.

They estimated the SUNY Canton bridge entry would cost an estimated $4.3 million. It was $1.8 million cheaper and was assembled eight minutes faster than the nearest rival entry from second-place winner École de Technologie Supérieure of Montreal, Quebec.

"This was the best regional competition that we've been to as far as I can remember," said Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty advisor for the student steel bridge team.