The top 20 teams of the West Virginia Statewide West Point Bridge Design Contest stroll the catwalk Friday on the New River Gorge Bridge. The students are among the nearly 300 in the state who submitted virtual bridge designs to the contest sponsored by the U.S. Military Academy.
Nick Bartusiak, 16, of Shady Spring High School, and Aniket Zinzuwadia, 17, of Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, won the final round of the national West Point Bridge Design Contest for the second year in a row. The team designed the least expensive, most effective bridge in the nation and both team members brought home $10,000 and a laptop as prizes.
Jimmy Wriston, senior engineering adviser for the state Department of Transportation, has volunteered at each of the past 13 statewide bridge-building contests. Wriston said students need more math and science education to fill today's jobs.
During the national semifinal round, 17 of the 40 teams represented were from West Virginia. The top 20 teams in the state put on harnesses to celebrate their success during a Bridge Walk trip across the New River Gorge Bridge catwalk.