Men and women of steel compete to build the best bridge

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SALT LAKE CITY -- College students built 14 steel bridges in one morning in one room at the Utah State Fairgrounds on Friday.

The American Society of Civil Engineers holds an annual competition challenging students around the country to design and build steel bridges.

Teams of about four students from each school construct the bridges from a limited set of materials and build them to specifications determined in advance. Those who do well at the regional competition in Utah get the chance to compete in Nationals.

Wayne Bishop, team captain from the University of Utah, says the competition feels like it was made for him.

“My father was an iron worker, his dad was an iron worker, all my uncles were iron workers, just kind of iron's in my blood,” Bishop said as he leaned over a steel beam on the cantilevered truss bridge his team was assembling.

Friday is the first day of a two-day competition. On Saturday, teams from the same schools display their talents in making canoes out of concrete.