CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – The 22nd annual West Virginia Design & Build Contest is back: this time live and in-person after following two years of virtual contests due to COVID-19.

The contest, sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Highways, BridgeWalk,  West Virginia Department of Education, and WVU Tech in Beckley, pits middle school and high school students against one another to see who can design the best bridge, using standardized design software. Finalists will also build a scale model of their bridge to see how much force the model will stand before collapsing. Below are pictures from past contests.

“We’re really looking forward to getting back to an in-person final competition this year. At the final event, we honor the students, teachers, parents, younger sisters and brothers — all these people who work together to help students be successful. We’re looking forward to working with the colleges again this year and helping young West Virginians bridge that gap from school into rewarding careers with West Virginia Department of Transportation.”

West Virginia State Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E.

The contest is designed to encourage STEM education and inspire future engineers. Every student who makes it to the finals receives $100.

  • First place winners take home $500,
  • Second place winners receive $400
  • Third place winners get $300.

Every student who participates also gets a free BridgeWalk tour for themselves and their families.

Students who are interested in participating have until Wednesday, March 1, 2023, to register, download their bridge design software and submit their bridge design.

To register, download bridge design software, or find out more about the contest, visit