National Steel Bridge Alliance


Prize Bridge Awards

Enter now--the 2022 Prize Bridge Award competition is open!

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. Central on Sept. 8, 2021.

The art of designing and building beautiful, efficient, economical, and sustainable steel bridges has been practiced for more than a century. The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) launched its Prize Bridge Competition in 1928 as a way to showcase the beauty of steel bridges.

Since the Sixth Street Bridge won the first competition in 1928, more than 300 bridges have won first place in a variety of categories, and at least an equivalent number of bridges has received a merit or honorable mention award for finishing as runner up. Overall, this competition has recognized more than 600 bridges of all sizes from all across the United States.

Today's competition recognizes bridges on a biennial basis, with winners receiving recognition during the North American Steel Construction Conference/World Steel Bridge Symposium. Keeping with tradition, bridges are eligible for the competition based on the date they first opened to traffic.


New for 2022: Bridge of the Year

NSBA is introducing an exciting new award for 2022: the Bridge of the Year!

Our panel of expert judges will choose three finalists from all the projects entered in the Prize Bridge Awards. The 2022 World Steel Bridge Symposium in Denver (March 23-25) will open with live presentations from the teams behind those three finalists, outlining what makes their bridges so noteworthy. The judges will confer, and we’ll announce the winner of the inaugural Bridge of the Year competition at the end of the conference!


How it works:

The best bridges are built by teams, and any member of the project team may submit a bridge for consideration.

A panel of industry professionals judge the entries in six categories:

  • Short span - No single span greater than 140 ft.
  • Medium span - Longest span equal to or greater than 140 ft. but less than 400 ft.
  • Major span - One or more spans greater than or equal to 400 ft.
  • Movable span
  • Rehabilitation - Projects that work on an existing structure without replacing primary members. New structures built on an existing alignment should be entered by span length.
  • Special purpose - Bridge that does not fit any of the above categories. Examples include bridges for pedestrians, pipelines, and airplanes.

The judges consider each bridge in terms of innovation, economics, aesthetics, design, and engineering solutions. They may move submitted bridges between categories if they think a project is better suited to a category that’s different than the one in which it was entered.

At their discretion, judges may also offer special commendation to projects that feature Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques and a full range of sustainable attributes.

Who can enter:

Any team member from an eligible bridge project may submit it for award consideration.

Eligible bridges must:

  • be built of structural steel produced and fabricated in the United States
  • be located in the U.S., defined as the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories)
  • be completed and opened to traffic between January 1, 2020, and September 8, 2021

Each bridge may be entered in only one category.

How to enter:

  • Complete the online entry form.
  • Upload high-resolution photographs and drawings. You must include photo credit information, and you must accept the AISC/NSBA photo policy to submit your entry.
  • Provide contact information for the project team.

There is no fee to enter the competition.

A good application is one that thoroughly documents the merits of the bridge. The judges need plenty of information. Although the quality of submitted materials, such as images, is not an official judging criterion, it is nonetheless quite important.

The entry form will ask you to consider the following:

  • Engineering: What engineering challenges did the project team face?
  • Unique attributes: What makes this bridge stand out?
  • Innovation: What makes the design, fabrication, and/or construction of this bridge noteworthy? (E.g., advanced modeling techniques)
  • Economy: Why is this bridge design well-suited to this situation?

If you would like to enter a pedestrian bridge that is an intrinsic part of an eligible building, we encourage you to enter AISC’s IDEAS2 competition.

IMAGE CRITERIA

Print-quality photographs and graphics should show off your project and provide an adequate basis for a sound and comprehensive evaluation of the structure and its design.

Images are mandatory, but there are no specific requirements as to what they depict.

A thorough image submission for a given bridge would include:

  • At least one image showing the completed bridge
  • At least one additional image showing the immediate context of the bridge’s environs (omit if the project's relationship to its environs is clearly defined in other images)
  • At least one image showing fabrication
  • At least one image showing construction
  • At least one technical plan

Technical details:

  • Images should be high-resolution (at least 300 dpi), at least 4 in. wide, and submitted as jpeg, tiff, or eps files.
  • You may submit a total of 20 images per entry.
  • All images must include credit information in the filename. (Example: BrooklynBridge-creditJohnSmith.jpg)

Submitted photographs and images used for exhibition or publication purposes will bear the customary photograph credit line provided, however, NSBA/AISC is not responsible for errors or omissions. NSBA/AISC reserves the right to use all submitted materials indefinitely to showcase the winning projects, feature innovation in the structural steel industry,  and promote the Prize Bridge Award program. Submitting an entry to NSBA/AISC constitutes acceptance of this policy by firms, companies, and project photographers and indicates or confirms that these submitting parties have copyright ownership or express permission to submit them, that they grant NSBA/AISC a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce the submitted materials in any media, and that they agree to hold NSBA/AISC harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with the submittal of materials.

What you should know about entering:

  • All entries for the 2022 Prize Bridge Awards are due by 11:59 p.m. Central on Sept. 8, 2021.
  • Entrants agree to abide by all rules and regulations of the 2022 Prize Bridge Awards program as defined in this document. Neither NSBA nor AISC is responsible for errors or omissions in entries.
  • Firms may submit multiple projects.
  • Each entry will be considered separately.
  • Award recipients may be asked to submit additional team member contact information.
  • By entering, you grant NSBA and AISC permission to disclose information about the recipients of the award and the bridge, including budget and cost details.
  • Project team members of winning projects should expect to be asked for additional information and commentary about their projects by representatives of NSBA, AISC, and the media.
  • Submitted photographs and images used for exhibition or publication purposes will bear the customary photograph credit line provided, however, NSBA/AISC is not responsible for errors or omissions. NSBA/AISC reserves the right to use all submitted materials indefinitely to showcase the winning projects, feature innovation in the structural steel industry,  and promote the Prize Bridge Award program. Submitting an entry to NSBA/AISC constitutes acceptance of this policy by firms, companies, and project photographers and indicates or confirms that these submitting parties have copyright ownership or express permission to submit them, that they grant NSBA/AISC a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce the submitted materials in any media, and that they agree to hold NSBA/AISC harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with the submittal of materials.

Need inspiration?

Check out the 2020 Prize Bridge Award winners!