Two bridge design competitions are in the news in recent days.
orngejuglr on flickr). This will be a major scheme, with a budget of US$400m available, and it's likely to attract some heavyweight designers. The LA city mayor is seeking an iconic structure to replace the existing landmark bridge.
Previous studies for the project have narrowed options down to a cable-stayed or extradosed bridge, and it appears that may be the only solution permitted in the contest, which should make it an interesting challenge.
Firms which are selected for the contest will each receive a US$50k payment to develop their designs, leading to selection of a winner later this year. A formal invitation to prequalify is expected any day now from the LA Bureau of Engineering.
The other contest just announced is for the design of a "New Contemporary Bridge" over the River Seine in Paris. This one is open to all contestants, well, nearly all - you must be an architect or have an architect involved somewhere in your team, and be aged between 18 and 45. Woe betide elderly bridge engineers, although I guess you could just don a black polo-neck and play pretend - there will certainly be a host of trainee architects pretending they know something about building bridges.
There is a registration fee to enter, and prizes on offer of US$1k for each of twelve winners at Stage One, with a first place prize of US$10k at Stage Two.
This isn't a real bridge, there's no client involved and no plans to actually build anything. However, I'd guess the prize money will be highly attractive to students and anyone else with a bit of spare time on their hands. Contest entries must be in by August 24th.