Canton Steel Bridge

The 2019 SUNY Canton Steel Bridge team practice assembling their bridge as they prepare to head to the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals at Southern Illinois University. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — In response to the novel coronavirus and the New York State Governor’s PAUSE executive order, the American Institute of Steel Construction has canceled the 2019-2020 Steel Bridge Competition.

SUNY Canton was scheduled to hold the Upstate New York Regional Steel Bridge Competition beginning April 23 in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

The Roos House is closed.

Officials from AISC said they made the decision when participating schools and universities had discontinued all in-person activities, including their individual student-run steel bridge teams.

“In order to minimize losses, the Rules Committee will keep the bridge geometry the same for the 2020-2021 school year competition, with other rules subject to change,” said AISC Director of Education Christina Harber in a press release. “We know how dedicated and passionate you are about this competition, but we ask you to stop work until next year.”

At SUNY Canton, students were handling event planning and logistics for the multi-day competition. Those duties came in addition to designing a competition-ready bridge, according to the team’s advisor and instructional support associate Paul D. Hitchman.

“Our students are disappointed, but they also realize that this was the right move,” Hitchman said. “We’ve got a great bridge nearing completion and we’ll be able to pick up right where we left off next year.”

The college is in discussions with AISC about hosting next year’s competition.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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