The first Steel Bridge competition, a pilot test, was held at Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan, in 1987. Schools to compete that year included: Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University, and Lawrence Technological University. Some of the bridges weighed over 500 pounds and took hours to construct. The picture shown below is LTU's first Steel Bridge Team and what the first steel bridge looked like after loading had been applied.
Fun Fact: The women in the middle of the photo is holding an Evergreen Tree. In the field, these trees are known as topping trees. They are displayed on the top of skeleton building structures to signify the completion of the structure. For some builders, the Evergreen symbolizes that no one on the construction crew has died. Some say this tradition has been going on since 700 A.D.
The following photo is of the 2018 team in front of their bridge after the vertical load test. This competition was held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This year, our team has over twice the number of members, all of whom are working diligently to ensure that we can improve the scores compared with those of last year's bridge.
This year the competition will be held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the weekend of April 12, 2019. Competition is open to the general public and there is no entry fee to watch. During the Steel Bridge competition, the Concrete Canoe Team will also be competing in the same place just on a different day during the weekend. See you there!
The picture below is this year's member piece design:
Our plan right now is to order our steel in time to start fabricating components of the bridge by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester. All of the fabrication will be done on-site at LTU by members of the team with assistance from other students on campus knowledgeable about steel fabrication. Our goal is to finish the fabrication process by the beginning of March so we can practice constructing the bridge for competition day in April.
Any contribution you can make towards our team will go a long way towards reaching our goal of performing well at the University of Michigan. We thank you for supporting our team and what we stand for.