Congratulations to the CBC STEM Arch Collaborative team for winning 1st place in the 7th Annual Gateway Arch National Park Engineering Contest.
The Engineering Contest at the Gateway Arch National Park is a unique and very challenging contest that brings local high school engineering teams together at Gateway Arch National Park and the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University to compete for the Richard Bowser Trophy. Richard Bowser famously invented the Gateway Arch’s one-of-a kind Tram conveyance system in an astonishing two weeks. It is in this engineering spirit that the competition was created.
Located at River Mile 179.6 UMR, the Gateway Arch Riverboat Dock structure is 303 feet long and is made of 4 barges. Located on the dock are 3 boarding ramps, offices, gift shops, a galley, and mooring for 2 riverboats. Keeping the dock tethered to the levy are 4 electric winches, 1 hydroelectric winch, and 5 cables. There are also utility lines that must be moved as the dock fluctuates with the water levels.
With the water level fluctuating daily, the dock must be frequently adjusted so the ramps are not in the water and the docks themselves do not become grounded. Currently, these adjustments are made by hand and are time-consuming and require a full staff to coordinate the moving of the docks with the winch system. The teams will engineer a system that automatically adjusts the dock to the appropriate level as the river rises and falls.