Bridging the Gap at UTA: The North Bridge, South Bridge Competition

Winners of the Bridge Design Competition!

First Place: Team "Mav Tracers"

Second Place: Team "Sky Block"

Third Place: Team "WEb"


About the Design Competition

Bridging the Gap at UTA: The North Bridge, South Bridge Competition is a two-week design event, a CAPPA initiative dedicated to immediately building as well as creating longer-term strategies for stitching together the East Campus and the West Campus of UTA. The UTA campus has been divided for decades by the major Texas state road, North/South thoroughfare, Cooper Street, State Route 157. The CAPPA Compettion utilizes the “UTA Connecting Corridor” along Cooper Street, from South Nedderman Drive, north to West 1st Street to stitch together key elements of the campus. This connecting area contains the three-bridges and high walls strategy currently in place on the UTA campus, but our specific focus is on the North Bridge and the South Bridge arching high over six lanes of fast-moving traffic.

The “UTA Connecting Corridor” is a four-acre site running through the heart of the campus with thousands of automobiles traversing daily to connect downtown and northern Arlington to the Interstate 30 freeway, to southern Arlington and other points south of the Interstate 20 freeway.  UTA President Jennifer Cowley asked CAPPA for student participation in redesigning the look of the “UTA Connecting Corridor,” by enhancing the North and South Bridges over Cooper Street.

These two smaller bridges, slated for improvements in 2023, while serving a vital function as pedestrian bridges, are also critically important cultural icons, visually defining UTA in the urban landscape. The UTA Administration and CAPPA realize some planning and design solutions can be done immediately or relatively quick as temporary initiatives, while others may take years to reach the desired outcomes, advancing UTA and the City of Arlington.

This competition attempts to bring both the short-term and long-term strategies together in a studio-based rethinking of the look and programming of the two bridges. This Competition invites UTA design students and faculty through design studios to be a part of both a 2023 renovation, and a more comprehensive rethinking of the Cooper Street bridges within the Connecting Corridor for UTA. 

Competition Criteria

  • No Idea is off the Table! We have the practical task of immediately addressing the renovation of the two bridges with a construction budget of about one million dollars per bridge to be completed in 2023. However, the greater task is to design for a major reset of the corridor in a manner that makes the UTA campus whole through the creative reimagining of circulation, materials, sustainability issues and aesthetic appeal, which may take a few years to turn those designs into a new reality. Design Team proposals should address both strategies for 2023 and for work to happen by 2030. 
  • The studio model, 2-week competition encourages cross-collaboration of disciplines and team approaches to problem solving. The competition also encourages foregrounding innovation with both short term and long-term solutions to connectivity, green infrastructure, and transportation issues including the future approaches to urban mobility.
  • Judging is based upon a Design Team’s success at responding to the following four objectives:
  1. Submitted competition strategies can be linked to doable East and West Campus designs, based upon a $2.5M construction budget of $1,000,000 per bridge, including advocating for solutions that clearly seek to further enlist the support of professional planners and designers.
  2. The greater context of the City of Arlington, the DFW Metroplex and North Texas is considered as a critical component of the Design Team’s approach.
  3. The Design Team’s design strategies are based upon Imaginative, Innovative, yet Constructible Solutions utilizing Sustainable Materials.
  4. Short-term and longer-term envisioning strategies are linked through the strategic demonstration of a Topographic Awareness, and the creative reshaping of existing Circulation Patterns. 

Competition Guidelines

This document provides the Full Details, Competition Award Amounts, and Jurors Information available on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, starting the competition.

  • This is a Spring 2023, Studio Based and Faculty Led Team Competition including all Undergraduate Architecture and Interior Design Studios, all Graduate Level Architecture Studios, all Landscape Architecture Graduate Studios, and the Undergraduate Sustainable Urban Design Studio.
  • Teams may consist of the studio as a whole or teams of at least two students inside the studio, with the understanding that larger studios may have multiple teams.
  • Teams must register with the CAPPA Office of the Dean, listing team members by Monday, January 23rd, 2023, for Landscape Architecture and Sustainable Urban Design, and for all School of Architecture Studios.
  • All Competition Submissions are to be digital submissions and will be made to the CAPPA Office of the Dean, Room 203D, on or before noon, on January 30, 2023, through an in-person drop-off or electronically to the Associate Dean,, utilizing an approved format as listed below. While PDFs are encouraged the format is not limited to this form of delivery. However, the competition is not obligated to provide for non-standard print or presentation formats. Please check with the Dean’s Office to ensure your format or materials are supported before January 27th. 
  • All digital documents shall conform to a 24”X 36” format.
  • Competition Winners will be announced as part of the Saturday, February 11, 2023, Community Engagement Festival Event at CAPPA. 

Competition Prizes of $3,000

Thanks to generous support from CAPPA and John Hall, Vice President for Administration and Economic Development, three Design Team prizes will be awarded:

  • First Place Design Team. $1,250
  • Second Place Design Team $1,000
  • Third Place Design Team $750

Community Celebration Saturday, February 11th at 10:00am 

Competition kick off: January 18th, Architecture Studio

Competition kick off: January 19th, Landscape Architecture Studio

Deadline Sign-up: January 23rd at Midnight

Entry closes: Monday January 30th at Noon

Judging: January 4th- Feb 3rd

Community Celebration: Saturday Feb 11th



1. Jennifer Cowley, Ph.D., President, UTA, - Ex-Officio and Jury Chair
2. Maria Martinez-Cosio, Ph.D., Interim Dean, CAPPA, UTA – Juror
3. John Hall, Vice President, Administration and Economic Development, UTA – Juror
4. Don Lange, Assistant Vice President Facilities Management & Campus Operations, UTA – Juror
5. Mayor James Ross, City of Arlington – Juror
6. Councilperson Rebecca Boxall, City of Arlington – Juror
7. Ricardo Leòn, AIA, Baldridge Architects, Austin, Texas- Juror
8. Tary Arterburn, FASLA, Principal, Studio Outside, Dallas, Texas- Juror
9. Mike Ford AIA, Dallas, Texas - Juror

Specification Statement

There are limitations with regards to adding on to the metal structure of the bridge. Therefore, nothing can be added to the structure of the bridge itself it will need to be an independent structure.
Due to wind load and weight any material to replace the bridge fencing must be lighter and have openings of approximately the same size of the existing material.

See full Original Bridge Design