University Programs

SSBC Rules and Clarifications

Student Steel Bridge Competition

2022 Official Student Steel Bridge Competition Rules

Download the Official Rules for the 2022 Student Steel Bridge Competition.

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Release date: September 7, 2021

2022 Official Student Steel Bridge Competition Clarifications

Clarifications are based on the Student Steel Bridge Competition 2022 Official Rules. All clarifications have been reviewed and approved by the Rules Committee.

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Click on each section below to read the posted clarifications.

SSBC Clarifications

1. Mission and Summary

There are no clarifications for Section 1 at this time.

2. Introduction

There are no clarifications for Section 2 at this time.

3. Problem Statement

There are no clarifications for Section 3 at this time.

4. Eligibility

Q4.1 Is there a potential that modifications to the Regional Competitions and National Finals will be made due to circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska Fairbanks

A. Yes, there will continue to be uncertainty surrounding the COVID pandemic and how it may affect the Student Steel Bridge Competition. The hope is that the Regional Competitions and National Finals can take place under normal circumstances following the 2022 Rules. If changes are required, they are thoroughly discussed by the Rules Committee so as to try to minimize the effect that they have on competing teams. Safety, equity and inclusivity are held paramount in making these decisions and changes. There always is potential for a change to have a detrimental impact on a team's bridge, but given the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic we hope that team's will keep in mind that the experience of the competition is far more beneficial than winning. It is recognized that the competitive nature of the competition is important to push teams to be innovative, however the true benefit of the competition rests in the skills and teamwork developed during the process of designing, fabricating and constructing a team's bridge, rather than the final rank that is achieved. [1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4]


Q4.2 Is there an "intent to compete" form to fill out this year? Juan Vazquez, Lipscomb University

A. The Regional Competitions will be held in conjunction with the ASCE Student Symposia. Registration will be coordinated directly by the Regional Competition Host School. Be sure to complete ASCE's Student Chapter SSBC Participation Form by October 30th so that you can receive sponsor benefits, including the Team Participation Stipend! The link to the form will be provided in Host Mailer #1. [4.3]


Q4.3 Does a school need to intend to start an ASCE student chapter next year to compete as a guest competitor in this year’s competition (2022 Student Steel Bridge Competition)? Ryanne, University of Calgary

A. Guest Competitors are covered under Section 4.3.3 of the SSBC 2022 Rules. If a school does not qualify under any other subparagraphs in Section 4.3.3, then the requirement of having submitted a Statement of Intent to Establish an ASCE Student Chapter in Section 4.3.3.2 applies. Please visit ASCE’s Start a Student Chapter webpage to learn more. The Statement of Intent to Establish can be found under the “What to do” heading. [4.3.3, 4.3.3.1, 4.3.3.2, 4.3.3.3, 4.3.3.4]


Q4.4 If a team decides to attend a regional competition as a guest competitor that is different from their ASCE assigned Student Symposia, will the team be eligible for the National Finals? Patricia Oleson, Portland State University

A. No. A team may only qualify for the National Finals if they compete and qualify at their assigned Student Symposia as a non-guest competitor. However, AISC may invite additional teams to the National Finals with approval from ASCE based on special circumstances. For Pacific Northwest (PNW) Student Chapters only, a PNW student chapter is only eligible to advance to the National Finals by competing and qualifying in the virtual Regional Competition associated with the PNW Student Symposium and meeting all eligibility requirements. Refer to the February 15 email from the ASCE Committee on Student Conferences and Competitions sent to all PNW student chapters. [4.3.2, 4.3.2.1, 4.3.3, 4.3.4, 4.4.1, 4.4.1.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3.3]

5. Safety

There are no clarifications for Section 5 at this time.

6. Scoring

Q6.1 Are decals identifying the school name prohibited on the top of a stringer? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. No. However, it is not recommended to place the school's name, using whatever method the team decides, on the top of the stringer because it may be damaged or distorted during load testing. [6.2.1.1.3, 9.2.3, 9.3.9, 11.4, 11.5]


Q6.2 Are there any restrictions on the program that is used to create the free-body, shear, and moment diagrams that are required on the poster? Mahala Edgar, University of California, Davis

A. No. The free-body, shear and moment diagrams can be produced using software or can be based on hand calculations and drawings. [6.2.1.2.1]


Q6.3 Are scaled, dimensioned drawings of both sides of the bridge required for the poster? Mahala Edgar, University of California, Davis

A. No. A single scaled, dimensioned side view of the bridge is acceptable. [6.2.1.2.1]


Q6.4 How many estimates must be submitted for the cost estimation load category? Damien Grayda, Lakehead University

A. One estimate for each load case must be submitted (i.e. six separate estimates) since they are submitted prior to the selection of the load case for the competition. Only the estimate associated with the load case that is selected for the combination will be used to determine the winner of the cost estimation award. [6.2.8.1, 6.2.8.2]

7. Schedule of Competition

There are no clarifications for Section 7 at this time.

8. Material and Component Specifications

Q8.1 Are the box dimensions specified in Sub-Section 8.2.2.2 correct and does more than one member need to fit in the box at the same time when checking for member size violations? Brady Maas, Texas A&M University

A. The box dimensions are 3 foot 6 inches by 6 inches by 4 inches as specified in Section 8.2.2.2 and each member is checked separately for size violations in the box. [8.2, 8.2.2.2]


Q8.2 May rebar be used as part of the bridge? Garrett Dean, Georgia Southern University

A. Yes, provided that the rebar is made of steel, is strongly magnetic and remains rigid. If the rebar is welded to a member, it becomes a part of that member. If the rebar is used as a lone piece, then it is considered a member and must meet the requirements specified in Sub-Section 8.2.2. [8.1, 8.2.2, 8.2.2.1, 8.2.2.2]


Q8.3 May a hole be drilled into a hollow section? Jake Cao, California State University, Long Beach

A. Yes, provided that the hole is not threaded and is not through the top of the stringer. [8.2.5, 9.3.9]


Q8.4 May flange bolts and flange nuts be used as loose bolts and nuts? Justice Forster, Virginia Tech

A. Flange bolts may be used as loose bolts provided they meet all of the requirements of Section 8.2.3 since there is no restriction on the shape of the bolt head. Flange nuts may not be used because they do not have the external shape of a hexagonal prism over their full length. [8.2.3.1, 8.2.3.2, 8.2.4.1]


Q8.5 May all nuts used for connections be welded to a bridge member? Renata Mercado, Universidad Panamericana

A. Yes. [8.2.2.1, 8.2.4.1, 8.2.4.2, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4, 9.4.5]


Q8.6 Are bolts that incorporate zinc and/or chromate permitted as long as the bolt is made of steel and has a strong magnetic attraction? Matt Groll, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A. Yes. Steel bolts often have a zinc or zinc-chromate finish to prevent rusting. However, please heed the health advisory on page 26 of the rules when considering welding coated bolts or nuts. [8.1, 8.2.3]


Q8.7 May steel weld nuts be used to make connections? Matt Groll, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A. Typically, steel weld nuts do not have an external shape of a hexagonal prism over their full length due to a projection, collar, or a base that facilitates welding and thus they do not meet the requirements of Rule 8.2.4.1. [8.2.4.1]


Q8.8 Is cutting length off of the threaded portion of a bolt considered "mechanically altering" the bolt? Saul Chaplin, University of California San Diego

A. Yes. Cutting a bolt in order to decrease its length is considered mechanically altering. Bolts are not to be modified in any way. A bolt that is mechanically altered or modified in any way (besides being painted) is not eligible for use in the competition. [8.2.3.1]


Q8.9 May washers be used as part of the bridge? Elvis, Colorado School of Mines

A. Yes, a washer may be used as part of the bridge. If the washer is loose, then it is considered a member and subject to all of the rules associated with a member. If the washer is welded to a member, then it becomes a part of the member. [8.2.2, 10.1.6, 10.3.7, 10.3.11, 10.4.2, 10.4.3, 10.6.1, 10.9.1]


Q8.10 How is a flexible part of a member defined in light of the fact that deformation due to mechanical strain is allowed during construction and load testing? Eli Barbin, Louisiana State University

A. A flexible part is a part that substantially deforms under its own self-weight (e.g. thin cable or very thin rod) or that is made up of a material other than steel and has a smaller elastic modulus than steel. [8.2.2.1]


Q8.11 What is the definition of "commercially available" as it applies to loose bolts? Eli Barbin, Louisiana State University

A. "Commercially available" refers to the ability to purchase bolts from a retailer without the need to place an order that would require additional or special fabrication of the bolts. [8.2.3.1]

9. Structural Specifications

Q9.1 What is the plan view bridge envelope? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The bridge shall be no wider than 3'-7" at any location along its span and shall be at minimum 20 feet long and at maximum 21 feet long. The location of the bridge within the construction site is bound by the construction zone boundaries to the west and east of the highway and the location of the footings. No piece of the bridge shall extend beyond the vertical planes that make up the construction zone boundaries. [9.3.2, 9.3.5, 9.3.6]


Q9.2 May the bridge have pieces that extend above 2’-4” from the ground? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. No. The top of the stringers shall be the highest point on the bridge with a maximum height of 2'-4". [9.3.7]


Q9.3 Why is there a discrepancy between the extent of the footings (3'-8") and the required width of the bridge (3'-7")? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The bridge shall be no wider than 3'-7" at any location along its span. The 3'-8" dimension in the Site Plan drawings provides the location of the footings with respect to the construction site and does not dictate the width of the bridge. The size and separation of the footings allow teams some flexibility in regards to where the bridge is constructed provided that the only place the bridge touches the ground is within the footings. [9.3.2, 10.3.10. 10.4.2]


Q9.4 Is there a maximum or minimum height for the footings? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The footings are a 2-D plane on the ground's surface and do not have a height associated with them. No clearance is required over the footings meaning the bridge can touch the ground and have parts less than 7.5 inches above the ground surface provided they are within the vertical planes that make up the boundaries of the footing. The maximum height of the bridge is limited to 2'-4", even above the footings. [9.3.3, 9.3.7]


Q9.5 May a surface on one member be in contact with a surface on another member without a bolt penetrating either surface? Sam Trehy, Ohio University

A. No. A faying surface is any location where the surface of one member is in contact with the surface of another member, regardless of how many other points of contact there are between the members. All locations where one member touches another member require a connection and all faying surfaces associated with a connection must be penetrated by a bolt. A faying surface without a bolt penetrating it will be penalized and may lead to the bridge not being eligible for awards in any category, except aesthetics and video. [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.6 Is there a limit on the number of degrees of freedom (displacements and rotations) that a connection can resist without the presence of a bolt? Sam Trehy, Ohio University and Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska Fairbanks

A. No, provided that the connection between members only contains at most two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected, these faying surfaces are penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut, and all other requirements of Sub-Section 9.4 are met. Note that any surface in contact with a surface of another member, no matter how small, is considered a faying surface. [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.7 May a faying surface be concave or convex? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska Fairbanks

A. Yes. There is no restriction on the shape of the faying surface provided it is smooth and does not have protrusions, ridges, studs, teeth, threads or holes (other than those for fasteners). Surfaces on either side of a corner or bend (no matter what the radius) will be treated as separate faying surfaces. Square, rectangular and circular tube-in-tube/sleeved connections are prohibited. [9.4.2]


Q9.8 Is a faying surface a 2-dimensional plane or can it extend in 3-dimensions? Matt Groll, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A. A faying surface may be 3-dimensional (such as a concave or convex plane), but surfaces on either side of a corner or bend (no matter what the radius) will be treated as separate faying surfaces. A square member inside a square has four faying surfaces and also would violate the restriction on tube-in-tube/sleeved connections. [9.4.2]


Q9.9 If two members have a gap between them after the completion of construction, but end up touching during loading, will the bridge be ineligible for awards in any category, except aesthetics and video? Matt Groll, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A. No. The connection safety requirements specified in Sub-Section 9.4 are checked by the judges after termination of timed construction and before the bridge is moved from the construction site or load tested. However, if teams attempt to gain an advantage by trying to circumvent the rules in the opinion of the judges or the judges determine the bridge cannot be loaded safely, the bridge may be deemed ineligible. [3, 5, 7.1, 7.2, 9.1, 9.4.1]


Q9.10 Does a faying surface need to be contiguous between multiple bolts? Ben Gordon, Lafayette College

A. No. Section 9.4.2 only requires that every faying surface be penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. Faying surfaces that are not contiguous are treated as separate faying surfaces, each of which must be penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. A connection can contain at most two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected and holes in a member for a loose bolt must be completely surrounded by the member. [9.4.2, 9.4.3]


Q9.11 Does a slotted connection count as a faying surface? Gabriel E Acosta, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez

A. A connection is not considered a faying surface, rather a connection contains faying surfaces. At a connection, all surfaces that are in contact with another member are considered separate faying surfaces each of which must be penetrated by a loose bolt secured with a loose or welded nut. At most there can be two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected at a connection. If the connection has more faying surfaces and/or the faying surfaces cannot be penetrated by a bolt, then the connection will be in violation of Section 9.4.2. A slotted T-type connection is not considered a connection that satisfies the rules because of the number of faying surfaces and the inability to penetrate all of the faying surfaces with a bolt(s). [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.12 Please clarify the definition of a connection? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. A connection is a location where all faying surfaces resulting from two or more members coming in contact are penetrated by at least one loose bolt and secured by a loose or welded nut preventing the members from separating at that location without first unscrewing or removing the loose bolt(s) that connects them. A connection is required at every location where one member touches another member and at least one and at most two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected at a connection are allowed. All faying surfaces that are penetrated by the same bolt are considered to be part of the same connection. Multiple bolts may penetrate a faying surface and multiple members may be connected at a single connection.  [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4]


Q9.13 Is there a restriction on the quantity of connections between two members? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. No, two members may have multiple points of contact between them and at each point of contact there must be a connection that meets all the requirements of Sub-Section 9.4. [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4]


Q9.14 If two members are in contact and the contact surface has a complex curve, such as a sine wave profile, would the surface be considered a single faying surface? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. A faying surface that has a complex curve which includes an inflection point (transition between a concave or convex surface) or a corner or a bend will be treated as separate faying surfaces of the same connection on either side of the inflection point, corner or bend. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.15 What is the definition of a tube-in-tube/sleeved connection? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. A tube-in-tube/sleeved connection is a connection in which a part of one member is inserted into a closed section that is part of another member such that a portion or all of the outer surface of the inner member is in contact with a portion or all of the inner surface of the outer member. For a tube-in-tube connection, both parts that are being connected are closed tubes. For a sleeved connection, the part being inserted does not need to be a closed section. Tube-in-tube/sleeved connections are prohibited by Sub-Section 9.4.2. [9.4.2]


Q9.16 Since the stringers must be between 20' and 21' long, does this also imply that the total length of the bridge must also be between 20' and 21' long? Richard Tang, University of California, San Diego

A. The total length of the bridge is not required to be the same length as the stringers provided that the stringers meet the length requirements in Sub-Section 9.3.6 and the total length of the bridge remains within the bridge envelope. The maximum length of the bridge is 21' as shown by the bridge envelope provided in the South Side Elevation drawing in the Bridge Elevation drawing set (DWG2). The minimum length of the bridge is dictated by the minimum length of the stringer, which is 20'. [9.3.5, 9.3.6]


Q9.17 Is there a maximum number of connections that a member can have? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. No. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.18 May the clearance between the bottom of the bridge and the ground and highway be greater than 7.5"? Savana Stewart, George Washington University

A. Yes, provided that the bridge remains within the bridge envelope shown in the Bridge Elevation Drawing (DWG2) and the top of the stringers are the highest point on the bridge and extend no more than 2'-4" and no less than 1'-11" above the surface of the ground, highway and footings. [9.3.3, 9.3.7]


Q9.19 May multiple members be connected at the same location? Jeremy D. Adams, University of California, San Diego

A. Yes, multiple members can be joined at a single connection provided that there is at least one and at most two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected at the connection and every faying surface is penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.20 Is there a limit to the number of bolts allowed per a pair of faying surfaces? Jeremy D. Adams, University of California, San Diego

A. No. [9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4]


Q9.21 Can plates that are part of one member serve as a faying surface for connecting to another member? Daniel Dugan, Purdue University Northwest

A. Yes, provided that the plates form at most two faying surfaces associated with each member at the connection and each of these faying surfaces is penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. Each plate serves as a separate faying surface. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.22 May a bolt be installed through the stringer such that the top of the bolt head is flush with the top of the stringer upon the completion of construction? Riley Blasiak, University at Buffalo

A. Yes. The top of the bolt would then function as the top of the stringer and must be free of holes, splits, separations, protrusions, and abrupt changes in elevation or slope. The horizontal separation between the top of the bolt head and the adjacent members must be less than 1/4" and any change in elevation between the top of the bolt head and the top of the adjacent members must not exceed 1/8". The presence of the bolt must not inhibit the movement of the decking during loading. Loose bolts also may not be mechanically altered or modified in any way. The connection associated with the bolt must meet the requirements of Sub-Section 9.4. The connection must also be able to be inspected or the bridge may not be eligible for awards in any category, except aesthetics and video.  [8.2.3.1, 9.2.3, 9.3.8, 9.3.9, 9.4, 9.4.3, 9.5]


Q9.23 Does there need to be a flat surface between the north side stringer and south side stringer? Richard Tang, University of California, San Diego

A. No. There is no surface requirement between the stringers since the decking used to support the applied load will only be in contact with the top of the stringers. The top of the stringers must be the highest point on the bridge and shall contact the tops of the two rabbets of the stringer template at every location along the full length of the stringer. The tops of the stringers shall be without obstructions or separations along their length except those allowed by Sub-Section 9.3.9. [9.3.7, 9.3.8, 9.3.8.1, 9.3.8.2, 9.3.9, 12.2]


Q9.24 If two members meet end to end such that the cross-section of one member is in contact with the cross-section of the other member, is this contact surface a faying surface? Jing-Ya Hsu, Cornell University

A. Yes, the surface over which the two cross-sections are in contact is a faying surface no matter how thin the elements of the cross-section may be. The faying surface must be penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. If it is not possible to penetrate the faying surface with a loose bolt, then the connection would be in violation of Sub-Section 9.4.2. [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4]


Q9.25 Are dovetail type connections utilizing a bolt a violation of Sub-Section 9.4.2? Aldrich Alvarez, Georgia Southern University

A. Yes. Dovetail connections, even with a bolt, are a violation of Sub-Section 9.4.2. [9.4.2] 


Q9.26 If two flat pieces are welded together to form a coplanar surface with one another and this surface is in contact with another member, is the surface counted as one or two faying surfaces? Kevin Zhang, Tufts University

A. Provided that the two pieces that are welded together are coplanar, the contact surface is considered a single faying surface. In order to meet the definition of a faying surface, which must be smooth and not have protrusions, ridges, studs, teeth, threads or holes as defined in the glossary, the weld must be ground flush with the flat pieces. A weld joining the two plates together that is not ground smooth is considered a protrusion and does not meet the requirements of an acceptable faying surface. [9.4.2]


Q9.27
What is the difference between a curved faying surface and two faying surfaces on different sides of a "corner" or "bend"? Jacob Lion, University of California, Berkeley

A. A curved surface is defined as a surface that has a gradual change in the slope over its area. A corner or bend is associated with two flat surfaces coming together to form an angle. A corner can be formed by welding two, non-coplanar plates together to form an angle. A bend is formed by deforming a plate along a line or crease to create an angle between the two sides of the plate. An example of a bend is the corner region of a square or rectangular tube. [9.4.2]


Q9.28 Does a connection that functions by inserting a part of one member into a part of another member and then twisting one or both of the pieces to lock the connection into place violate Sub-Section 9.4.2? Jake Sylvester, The College of New Jersey

A. Yes. A connection that requires a part of a member to be inserted into another and is then twisted to lock in place would violate the restriction on mechanical/interlocking connections, even if it is accompanied by a loose bolt. Any mechanical/interlocking connection that is designed to resist movement without the presence of a bolt is prohibited. This type of connection also often contains more than two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected at the connection. [9.4.2]


Q9.29 Can a slotted hole that accepts a bolt be used in a connection? Jake Sylvester, The College of New Jersey

A. Yes. A slotted hole can be used to accept a bolt in a connection provided that if the slotted hole is in the outer ply of the connection no part of the slotted hole is large enough to allow the nut or bolt head to pass through it. [9.4.3]


Q9.30 Will the stringer template only be used along the top of the stringers? Juan Vazquez, Lipscomb University

A. Yes. The stringer template will only be used to ensure that the bridge provides a straight, clear decking support location in accordance with Sub-Section 9.3.8 and that the stringers are the highest point on the bridge in accordance with Sub-Section 9.3.7. [9.3.7, 9.3.8, 9.3.8.1, 9.3.8.2]


Q9.31 When does a set of nested convex or concave surfaces become a tube-in-tube or sleeved connections? Davis Zarfas, Portland State University

A. A set of nested convex or concave surfaces are considered to be a tube-in-tube or sleeved connection when the outer surface completely surrounds the inner surface such that movements perpendicular to the faying surface can be resisted without the presence of a bolt. Note that if teams attempt to gain an advantage by trying to circumvent the rules in the opinion of the judges, the bridge may be deemed ineligible for awards other than aesthetics and video. [9.4.2]


Q9.32 Does a bolt passing through the boundary of two faying surfaces, such as at an inflection point in a curved surface, a corner, or a bend meet the requirements of Sub-Section 9.4? Davis Zarfas, Portland State University

A. No. The bolt would only partially penetrate the two faying surfaces at their boundary. The bolt must be completely surrounded by the faying surface to meet the requirements of Sub-Section 9.4.2. [9.4, 9.4.2]


Q9.33 May a single bolt pass through multiple faying surfaces in the same connection? Davis Zarfas, Portland State University

A. Yes. [9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.34 May a cam lock, dovetail, tube-in-tube/sleeved or other mechanical/interlocking connection be used if a loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut is added to the connection? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. No. [9.4.2]


Q9.35 Does the statement "at any location along the span" in Sub-Section 9.3.7 mean both the backspan and cantilever? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. Yes, "at any location along the span" refers to the full length of the stringer whether it is over a footing, along the backspan, or along the cantilever. The tops of the stringers shall extend no more than 2'-4" and no less than 1'-11" above the surfaces of the highway, ground and footings. [9.3.7]


Q9.36 Are there any restrictions on the height of the bottom of the stringer? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. At all points over the ground and highway, the bridge, including the bottom of the stringer, shall provide a vertical clearance of 7.5" measured from the surface of the ground or highway. All parts of the bridge must be located within the allowable bridge envelope as depicted in the Bridge Elevation Drawing (DWG2). [9.3.2, 9.3.3, 9.3.4]


Q9.37 Where will the passageways associated with the backspan and cantilever clearance templates be measured? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The backspan clearance template will be used to check the passageway from the beginning of the bridge on the west end to the west edge of the south side, east end footing (i.e. the westernmost footing at the start of the cantilever). The cantilever clearance template will be used to check the passageway from the west edge of the south side, east end footing (i.e. the westernmost footing at the start of the cantilever) to the end of the bridge on the east end. For further information, see the South Side Elevation diagram in the Bridge Elevation (DWG2) drawing. [9.3.4, 9.3.4.1, 9.3.4.2]


Q9.38 How are the beginning and end of the bridge being defined? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The beginning and end of the bridge are defined by the part of the bridge that extends the farthest away from the highway on the west and east ends, respectively. [9.3.4.1, 9.3.4.2, 9.3.5]


Q9.39 May the backspan and cantilever clearance template touch any part of the bridge as the judges slide them under the bridge? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. The sides and top of the clearance template may come in contact with the bridge, but the contact must not inhibit the clearance templates from freely passing through the underside of the bridge when the templates are held perpendicular to the length of the bridge and perpendicular to the floor. [9.3.4, 9.3.4.1, 9.3.4.2]


Q9.40 How many faying surfaces are created by two overlapping channel sections? Eric Watson, Bradley University

A. Provided that the flanges and web are in contact with one another, the overlapping channel sections create three separate faying surfaces. If the channels are positioned back to back, then only a single faying surface is created. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.41 How is the horizontal separation between adjacent members that makeup the stringer measured? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. The horizontal separation between adjacent stringer members is measured along the stringer's length at its top surface from the point where one member ends to the point where the next member begins. The measurement is taken after the completion of construction. If the horizontal separation is uneven across the width of the stringer, the minimum horizontal separation shall be measured. [9.3.9, 10.9]


Q9.42 Does the bridge need to be at least 3'-6" wide in order to accommodate the 3'-6" wide decking? Nick Bello, Penn State, University Park

A. No. The width of the bridge is dictated by the bridge envelope, not the width of the decking. The only locations where the decking will be in contact with the bridge is along the top of the stringers. The location of the stringers must conform to the Stringer Template. [9.2.1, 9.2.2, 9.3.2, 9.3.6, 9.3.7, 9.3.8, 11.4.1, 11.4.2, 11.5.1.1]


Q9.43 Is a sphere a single faying surface? Chloe Sirges, University of British Columbia

A. A faying surface requires contact between two members, so by itself a sphere is not a faying surface. If two members are in contact and one of the surfaces is the surface of a sphere and the other is a concave surface that contacts the sphere, the location where these two members touch is considered a single faying surface. If more than one member is in contact with the sphere or the same member is in contact with the sphere in multiple locations that are not continuous, then each of these points of contact are considered separate faying surfaces requiring a fastener. All types of interlocking connections or connections that are designed to resist movement without the presence of a bolt are prohibited. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.44 May welds be placed on the top surface of the stringer? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. Yes, but the weld must be ground smooth with the exception that welds on the top surface of the stringer made at connection points between two members making up the stringer can be no higher than 1/8". [9.2.3, 9.3.9]


Q9.45 If a part of a member has perpendicular elements, such as an angle or two plates welded 90 degrees to each other, and a second member is in contact with one leg of this perpendicular element and a third member is in contact with the other leg of the perpendicular element, each with a separate bolt through them, is this considered a single connection? Ryan Mai, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

A. It does not matter how elements are configured where two members touch. Each location where members touch can have a maximum of two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected and each faying surface requires a fastener. In this case since the second and third members do not share a faying surface, each leg is considered a separate connection. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.46 If a connection between two members is created by overlapping parts that have a bend or corner in them, such as overlapping angles, can the 2 members touch at the vertex of the bend/corner or just along the flat planes of the overlapping parts? Matt Groll, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A. Yes, the two members may touch at the vertex of the bend provided that the flat planes creating two faying surfaces (one on each side of the vertex) are each penetrated by at least one bolt. If only the vertex of a bend or corner associated with one member is in contact with another member, the connection violates Section 9.4.1 and 9.4.2 as the contact point with the vertex would not form a faying surface that can be penetrated by a bolt as discussed in Clarification 9.32. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.47 Will the judges use any devices, such mirrors, borescopes, etc., to assist in inspecting individual nuts, heads of loose bolts and threaded ends of loose bolts that are part of a connection? Chloe Sirges, University of British Colombia

A. No. Any individual nut, head of a loose bolt, or threaded end of a bolt must be able to be inspected without the use of additional devices. [9.5]


Q9.48 Does a connection where one plate from one member is sandwiched between two parallel plates from another member violate the interlocking restriction in Section 9.4.2 provided that the two created faying surfaces are penetrated by at least one bolt and the ends of the plates of one member do not touch the other member to create an additional faying surface? Jason Hascall, Judge

A. No. This connection does not violate the requirements of Section 9.4.2 since the connection is not stable without the presence of the bolt. [9.4.2]


Q9.49 What qualifies as a hole in a faying surface when that hole is being utilized for fastening? Justice Forster, Virginia Tech

A. To be qualified as a hole in a faying surface that can accept a bolt, a void through the thickness of an element of a member must be completely surrounded by steel in all directions perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bolt to be inserted into it. If the void is in the outer ply of a connection, it must be small enough that the bolt head or nut cannot pass through it. The shape of the void is not restricted (see Clarification 9.29). The surface where the void is located must be in contact with another member to make it a faying surface. A hole for a loose bolt also must not be threaded. [8.2.5, 9.4.3]


Q9.50 Where is the footing located on north side, east (cantilever) end of the bridge relative to the requirements for the cantilever passageway defined by the Section B drawing and the Cantilever Clearance Template in the Bridge Elevation Drawing (DWG 2)? Joel Hyer, Brigham Young University

A. Both the north side and south side footings on the east (cantilever) end of the bridge fall completely within the requirement associated with the Section B drawing and the Cantilever Clearance Template in the Bridge Elevation Drawing (DWG 2) as detailed in Section 9.3.4.2. [9.3.3, 9.3.4.2]


Q9.51 May a connection be oriented such that gravity holds the member in place without the use of a bolt during construction provided that a bolt or bolts penetrate all faying surfaces at the completion of construction? Alec Colgan, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

A. Yes, connections may be oriented such that the member is held in place by gravity during construction provided that the presence of a bolt is necessary in order for the connection to function properly once construction is completed and all requirements of Sub-Section 9.4 and 9.5 are met. Cam locks, dovetails, tube-in-tube/sleeved and other mechanical connections that are designed to resist movement without the presence of a bolt are prohibited. [9.4, 9.4.2] 


Q9.52 If two channels overlap (as discussed in clarification 9.40), is there an orientation where three faying surfaces would be acceptable provided that all faying surfaces are penetrated by a bolt? Matt Groll, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

A. No, a connection may contain at most two faying surfaces associated with each member being connected. However, if one of the overlapping channels is smaller such that only one or none of the flanges is in contact with the channel that it overlaps, then there would be two or fewer faying surfaces per a member and the connection would be acceptable provided that all faying surfaces are penetrated by at least one bolt. If the channels are placed back to back or if the only contact is between one channel's flange and the other channel's web, then only a single faying surface is created. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.53 How many connections and faying surfaces are created if two wide flange sections are spliced together with a web plate, a top flange plate, and a bottom flange plate where the plates are welded to one member and bolted to the other member with a gap between the ends of the two members? Ryan O’Hearn, Cleveland State University

A. This configuration results in 3 separate connections with each connection having one faying surface associated with each member being connected. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.54 Does a bolt that is fully engaged with the threads of a nut need to extend past the end of the nut? Michaela Wright, Colorado School of Mines

A. The terminal threads of the bolt are required to be at least flush with the outer face of the nut or extend past the outer face of the nut. [9.4.4]


Q9.55 May holes be drilled through the web or side of a member to diminish the weight of the piece? Ulises Techera, Colorado Mesa University

A. Yes. However, the tops of the stringers must be free of holes. [9.3.9]


Q9.56 May a connection be made with sleeves? Ulises Techera, Colorado Mesa University

A. No. Rule 9.4.2 explicitly prohibits tube-in-tube/sleeved connections that are designed to resist movement whether or not a bolt is used in the connection. [9.4.2]


Q9.57 May one end of a connection be welded to a member and the other end of the connection be bolted to the other member? Ulises Techera, Colorado Mesa University

A. Once something is welded to a member it becomes a part of that member. That part of the member may then be used to create a connection with another member. If that part is in contact with another member, a faying surface is created, which is required to be penetrated by at least one loose bolt secured by a loose or welded nut. [9.4.2]


Q9.58 May a faying surface have unintentional minor gaps between the surfaces that are caused by fabrication? Michael Culmo, University of Connecticut

A. Yes. Minor, unintentional gaps between the faying surfaces of two members due to fabrication imperfections are allowed provided that resulting waves in the faying surface are not large enough to resist movement without the presence of a bolt. [9.4.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.59 Does the allowable 1/8" change in elevation between adjacent members along the top of a stringer only refer to a change in elevation due to a weld bead or may it be a result of other components of the connection? Courtney Turkatte, University of California, Berkeley

A. There is no restriction placed on what causes the 1/8" change in elevation between adjacent members along the top of a stringer. This allowance is provided because of the potential difficulties in fabricating a completely flat surface at a connection between members. [9.3.9]


Q9.60 May two curved plates welded to one member sandwich another circular member assuming a bolt or bolts penetrate all faying surfaces? John Stark, University of Illinois at Chicago

A. If the connection resists movement in all directions except in the longitudinal direction of the members as a result of the curved plates, then the connection resists movement without the presence of a bolt and is prohibited.  Note that if teams attempt to gain an advantage by trying to circumvent the rules in the opinion of the judges, the bridge may be deemed ineligible for awards other than aesthetics and video. [9.4.2]


Q9.61 If the open end of a closed section that is used for the pier is flush with the top of the stringer, is this opening considered a hole in the stringer? Lucas Mandujano, University of California Irvine

A. Yes. [9.3.9]


Q9.62 May the cantilever portion of the bridge have a support underneath it that runs from the end of the cantilever to a pier? Juan Vazquez, Lipscomb University

A. There is no restriction on the configuration of the cantilever provided that it fully remains within the bridge envelope specified in the Section B drawing of the Bridge Elevation Drawing (DWG 2). The minimum clearance of 7.5" must be maintained under the cantilever with the exception of above the footings where there is no clearance requirement and the cantilever clearance template must be able to pass freely under the cantilevered portion of the bridge. [9.3.3, 9.3.4.2]


Q9.63
If two members are in contact with each other at more than one location in a common plane, how many connections are required? Ben Piechowski, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

A. If the points of contact between two members are discontinuous even though they are in the same plane, then each point of contact is considered a connection with a separate faying surface that must be penetrated by a bolt that is secured by a loose or welded nut. [9.4, 9.4.1]


Q9.64 What is the violation if two members touch at multiple locations where the points of contact are not associated with a continuous surface, occur at different locations along the member, and at one of the contact locations there is no bolt secured by a loose or welded nut penetrating the faying surfaces? Ben Piechowski, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

A. The scenario is a violation of Section 9.4.1 since the contact points occur at different locations and each location requires a separate connection. Provided that a valid connection exists somewhere between the two members, each contact point that does not have a valid connection is penalized with two minutes added to the team's construction time. If there is not at least one valid connection between the two members, then the bridge will not be eligible for awards in any category, except aesthetics and video. Teams have the option of trying to correct violations of Section 9.4.1. [9.4, 9.4.1]


Q9.65 May a bolt be used to penetrate two members at a location where there are no faying surfaces? Jason Mathis, Judge

A. As long as two members have a connection with faying surfaces somewhere then there is no restriction in the rules on the use of bolts outside of a connection between the same two members. If the two members are not in contact at a location and thus do not create a faying surface, then there is no connection at that location. [9.4]


Q9.66 May multiple nuts be installed on a single bolt? Carl Furner, Drexel University

A. Yes, provided that both nuts are fully engaged by the threads of the matching loose bolt. The terminal threads of the bolt must extend beyond or be flush with the outer face of the outer nut. [9.4.4]


Q9.67 May a faying surface be painted? Ryan Mai, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

A. Yes. [8.2.1, 9.4.2]


Q9.68 Does the stringer need to extend over the piers and over what part of the bridge will the stringer template be used to check compliance? Krysta Swartz, Missouri University of Science and Technology

A. The stringer must be between 20' and 21' long and the top of the stringer must be the highest point on the bridge (no more than 2'-4" and no less than 1'-11" above the surface of the highway, ground, or footings). Since the maximum allowable length of the bridge is 21' long based on the bridge envelope, the stingers may terminate prior to reaching the piers depending on the configuration of the bridge. The top of a pier will be considered part of the stringer if its top surface is flush with the top surface of the stringer. The stringer template is used to ensure that a straight, clear decking support surface is provided by the stringers and will only be checked along the full length of the stringer. [9.2.1 9.3.6, 9.3.7, 9.3.8, 9.3.9]

10. Construction Regulations

Q10.1 Will a detailed plan on how to tape the construction lanes be provided? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. Yes. A construction lane taping plan will be available under the host resources at aisc.org/ssbc [10.5]


Q10.2 After establishing the first constructed portion of the bridge on the ground within a footing, may assemblies containing multiple members be built off of the ground away from the constructed portion and then carried to and installed onto the constructed portion? Paige Vasquez-Housley, Colorado School of Mines

A. No. An assembly of multiple members is not a constructed portion unless one of the members of the assembly is in contact with the ground within a footing. A penalty will be imposed for a member that comes in contact with another member outside the staging yard if neither member is part of a constructed portion. A builder also shall not support or touch, directly or with tools, more than one member that is not part of a constructed portion.  Construction cannot depend on deliberately committing an accident. [10.1.6, 10.3.7, 10.3.10, 10.3.11, 10.3.12, 10.4, 10.4.3]


Q10.3 May a builder insert one or more loose bolts into a member within the Transportation Zone or Staging Yard? Paige Vasquez-Housley, Colorado School of Mines

A. A loose bolt may be inserted into a member within the Transportation Zone or Staging Yard, but the loose bolt may not be used to connect two or more members within the Transportation Zone or Staging Yard. A penalty will be imposed for a member that comes in contact with another member outside the staging yard if neither member is part of a constructed portion. A builder who is outside a construction zone shall not touch a constructed portion and shall not install a member, nut, or bolt on a constructed portion. [10.3.7, 10.3.10, 10.3.11, 10.4, 10.4.3]


Q10.4 May the safety supports used during vertical loading also be used during the construction of the bridge? Musanna Nasher, George Mason University

A. No. Section 3 of the SSBC rules states that designs with permanent or temporary piers within the confines of the interstate highway will not be considered. A safety support in the context of construction is considered a tool. As with any tool, a safety support is not allowed to touch the highway, the ground outside the staging yard, or the floor outside the site boundary during construction of the bridge. [3, 10.2.4, 10.4.2, 11.2.3] 


Q10.5 During construction, may a member be supported by the constructed portion of the bridge whether or not it has been placed in its final constructed position? Alec Colgan, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology & Renata Mercado, Universidad Panamericana

A. Yes, during construction a member may be supported by the constructed portion of the bridge. Once touching a constructed portion of the bridge, that member becomes a part of the constructed portion. If removed from the constructed portion of the bridge, then it is again treated as a member. [10.3, 10.3.10, 10.3.12]


Q10.6 May a builder with one foot in the construction zone and one foot in the transportation zone touch (with or without a tool) a constructed portion of the bridge? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska Fairbanks

A. No. A builder is considered inside the construction zone if both feet are on the ground within the construction zone or if only one foot is on the ground and that foot is within the construction zone. [10.3.11]


Q10.7 May a member be handed from one side of the highway to the other? Juan Pablo Ramirez Vargas, Universidad Panamericana

A. Yes [10.3.5, 10.3.6, 10.3.7, 10.4.1, 10.4.2, 10.4.3]


Q10.8 May builders have loose bolts, loose nuts and/or tools in their possession prior to the start of timed construction? Matthew Alves, The College of New Jersey

A. No. All members, loose nuts, loose bolts, and tools must be in contact with the ground and fit entirely within their assigned area of the staging yard as designated on the Staging Yard detail on the Site Plan Diagram. [10.6.1]


Q10.9 What personal protective equipment is required during the competition? Damien Grayda, Lakehead University

A. During all construction and loading activities, builders are required to wear hardhats that meet ANSI standard Z89.1 and protective eyewear or safety goggles that meet ANSI standard Z87.1. In addition, during load testing, competitors are required to wear work gloves and leather construction boots. [10.1.5, 11.2.1.3]


Q10.10 May builders use drill bits during timed construction to ream a bolt hole? Justin Vande Hei, University of Wisconsin - Platteville

A. There is no prohibition against reaming during timed construction provided that the tool being used does not require an external power connection, all the pieces of the tool individually fit within a right rectangular prism of dimensions 3'-6" x 6" x 4" prior to construction beginning and the process can be accomplished safely as determined by the judges. If the bolt hole is reamed during timed construction, a penalty will be incurred if pieces of the bridge, including metal shavings, due to reaming touch the ground. [10.2.3, 10.2.4, 10.4.2]


Q10.11 May a tool be placed on a constructed portion of the bridge such that it is fully supported by that constructed portion? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. Yes, provided that the tool is placed on the bridge while the builder is in the construction zone. [10.1.4, 10.3.7, 10.3.11]


Q10.12 May additional members be placed on a tool that is supported by a constructed portion of the bridge such that they are fully supported by the tool and not in contact with the constructed portion of the bridge? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. A tool supported by a constructed portion may support multiple members, but there will be a penalty if the supported members touch one another as they are not consider part of the constructed portion because they are not in contact with a constructed portion. Construction will be stopped if a builder touches a tool that is supporting more than one member. [10.3.7, 10.3.10, 10.4.3]


Q10.13 May a tool contact the ground within a footing? Ben VanderHart, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A. No. [10.4.2]


Q10.14 May several members be in contact with the same footing? Matt Groll, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

A. Yes. If the members are not in contact with one another, each is considered to be a separate constructed portion. If the members are in contact with one another, they are considered to be a single constructed portion. If a member is removed from the footing and from contact with a constructed portion, it becomes an individual member again. [10.1.6, 10.3.10, 10.3.12]


Q10.15 May a constructed portion of the bridge be rotated while maintaining contact with the ground within a footing such that a part of the constructed portion then comes in contact with the ground within a different footing or comes in contact with another constructed portion? Matt Groll, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

A. Yes, provided that the process can be accomplished safely in the opinion of the judges. At no time, shall any part of the bridge extend beyond the vertical planes established by the site boundary. [10.1.2, 10.1.3, 10.1.6, 10.3.1, 10.3.10, 10.3.11, 10.3.12]


Q10.16
May a builder pass a member of the bridge to another builder inside the staging yard, transportation zone or construction zone provided that the other builder is not already holding a member? Ryan Mai, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

A. Yes. [10.1.4, 10.3.7, 10.3.11]


Q10.17 May a builder wear multiple forms of "pouches" at the same time? Damien Grayda, Lakehead University

A. Yes. [10.3.3, 10.4.1]


Q10.18 May builders run during bridge construction? Krysta Swartz, Missouri University of Science and Technology

A. Yes, if running can be done safely from the perspective of the judges. [5, 10.3.14]

11. Load Test Instructions

Q11.1 What is the lateral restraint used for the lateral load test? Ryan Ocampo, Florida International University

A. A lateral restraint is an optional device applied by the loading crew to prevent sliding during the lateral load tests. In its simplest form, the lateral restraint device can be a loading crew member's foot. The allowed location of the lateral restraint device is shown in the Lateral Load Test Plan (DWG3) drawings. The restraint is applied as close to the floor as possible, but must only prevent sliding. Devices designed to prevent rotation or vertical uplift will not be permitted. A loading crew member may stand on the device for added weight provided that they are able to do so in a safe manner and do not interfere with the lateral deflection of the bridge. [11.4.1]


Q11.2
What adjustment range is needed for the safety supports used during vertical loading? Musanna Nasher, George Mason University

A. The safety supports used during vertical loading need to prevent the load from falling more than approximately 4 inches in the event of a failure. The height of the load will range between approximately 2'-4" and 1'-11" off the ground based on the requirements for the height of the top of the stringers. The supports should be able to be adjusted to accommodate this range. Safety supports for load testing are provided by the host. [9.3.7, 11.2.3.2, 11.2.3.4, 11.2.3.5, 11.5.1.2, 12.3] 


Q11.3 Is there a size restriction for the optional devices used to prevent sliding during the lateral load tests? Matt Groll, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

A. No. The devices used to prevent sliding during the lateral load tests do not have any dimensional restrictions beyond the fact that they must only prevent sliding. Devices designed or sized to prevent vertical uplift are not permitted. [11.4.1] 

12. Equipment Provided by Host

There are no clarifications for Section 12 at this time.

13. Interpretation of Rules

Q13. 1 Is there a date leading up to the regional competitions where rules clarifications will not be accepted? Michaela, Colorado School of Mines

A. No. The date at which rules clarifications will no longer be accepted is May 2, 2022. [13]

14. Judging

There are no clarifications for Section 14 at this time.

15. Appeals

There are no clarifications for Section 15 at this time.

APPENDIX

  • Site Plan Diagram
  • Bridge Elevation Diagram
  • Lateral Load Test Plan Diagram
  • Vertical Load Test Plan and Elevation Diagram

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