Bridging Futures 2013

Top 5 finalist, Hunter Printz, dropping off his 3D model for the contest.

Top 5 finalist, Hunter Printz, dropping off his 3D model for the contest.

In our ninth year of the Bridging Futures contest, an important change was made – we tapped into the creative solutions of our state’s high school students!  The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project has evolved from planning to implementation, and we decided to evolve our contest this year as well to meet a unique opportunity.  We offered a scholarship opportunity to Washington juniors and seniors who designed the best wildlife overpass for the location and need within the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project as described below.

In 2014, the design will be finalized for our state’s first wildlife overcrossing.  This overcrossing within the Price/Noble Creek Connectivity Emphasis Area of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project will be constructed as part of Phase 2 construction beginning in 2015.  So, now is the time to bring our state’s best minds to the table to ensure our first wildlife overpass is of the highest quality.  Therefore, our coalition in coordination with the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) hosted a scholarship competition for high school students that requests their help in designing this wildlife overpass on I-90. 

“The I-90 project is evolving from a design on paper into a major project that will benefit our entire state,” said Charlie Raines, I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition director. “We are looking for students who are interested in how to incorporate the environment and transportation in the design of our highways.”

Entries were submitted from across the state – from Spokane to Seattle, from Easton to Forks.  Staff from the coalition and Washington Department of Transportation selected the Top 5 entries from our 2013 contest that include 3D models and blueprint designs, and these Top 5 were reviewed by our panel of judging experts.  All of the Top 5 entries will spend the summer on display at the Washington Department of Transportation headquarters office in Olympia, while each student will receive a certificate of recognition and a $50 gift card generously donated by REI.

View our news bulletin announcing the winners from our 2013 contest that each received a $1000 scholarship.  Congratulations Brydon Eakins of Spokane Valley and Elaina Thomas of Seattle!

Thank you to all of our judges that participated in the review, to each student that submitted an entry, and to REI for helping us recognize our Top 5.