And now the moment of truth: Who will win the 2014 Ammann Awards in their respective categories?
Voting is now underway after taking in a substantial number of candidates on both the national and international levels and constructing a new voting platform that will make voting much easier than in the past. Using the voting platform Poll Daddy, provided by Forum Communications and its subsidiary and cousin of the Chronicles, The Grand Forks Herald, you will have an opportunity to not only vote on the candidates you think deserve the awards (there are no limitations and your votes will be annonymous), but also keep track of the number of votes tallied in each category.
The procedure is simple: Just click on the links to the categories below, look at the candidates, click onto the links to Poll Daddy and then, click on your favorite candidate to vote.
With the exception of Best Photo and Mystery Bridge, each candidate has a short summary with links for more information. In the category Mystery Bridge, click directly on the name of the candidate to access the photos and stories of these structures before voting. The voting process is open to everybody, and you are free to forward the polls to others interested. Please keep in mind that voting will close on January 6th, the Day of Epiphany. This will give you time to go through the candidates and vote on your favorites. If you have any further questions, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles.
James Baughn: Since 2002, James Baughn has run his website entitled Bridgehunter.com. First focused on historic bridges of the midwestern part of the US, his website now has a databank of over 40,000 bridges, 80% featuring photos from over 170 contributors, including the author of the Chronicles. Baughn hosts the TRUSS Awards every February, where historic bridges threatened with demolition are recognized, giving locals and other preservationists more fuel to save the bridge. More on his website here: http://bridgehunter.com/
Jet Lowe: An avid photographer, Jet has photographed thousands of historic bridges, big or small in the past 30+ years, while working for the Washington-based Historic American Engineering Record, a subsidiary of the National Park Service. More about him, you’ll find here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Jet%20Lowe He submitted a photo of the Millau Viaduct for this year’s Best Photo Award.
Nathan Holth: At 28 years of age, Nathan Holth is the youngest candidate for this award. And that is no surprise, for his website, HistoricBridges.org, which has been in syndication since 2003, features nearly 4,000 bridges in North America (all fully photographed), web pages with guides on how to preserve historic bridges and his famous Wall of Shame, a list of historic bridges of high value that were scrapped senselessly, without looking at other alternatives to saving them. More on him can be found at his website here: http://historicbridges.org/
Nels Raynor of BACH Steel: With over three decades of work, Mr. Raynor has had a lot of accomplishments under his belt not only as far as restoring historic bridges are concerned, but also teaching many how to do it, so they can try it as well. More about him and his company here: http://bachsteel.com/
Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge: Consisting of several dedicated people of all ages, this group of preservationists have gone all out in saving the Bunker Mill Bridge outside Kalona, the bridge that was badly damaged in a fire in August 2013 but they are working to rebuild. This includes hosting open air concerts and having a small shop at the bridge, with money raised going to the rebuilding efforts. Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/582901311753226/
Fehmarn Bridge in Germany: Connecting the German mainland with the largest island in Europe, this 51-year old bridge was the first of its kind to introduce the now popular basket-handle arch bridge. That is why residents are fighting the attempts by the German Railways and the state to replace it with a tunnel and tear this “Merkmal des Insels” down. More here. A petition to save the bridge and block a proposal for three bridges can be found here.
Linz Railroad Bridge in Austria: The three-span steel bridge, built in 1912 and spanning the Danube River, has been a focus of a struggle between the modernists of the Social Democrats and Mayor Luger who want the bridge replaced and the preservationists and citizens who want the bridge saved, or at least bring the referendum on the bridge’s future to the attention of the city. Link: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2014/08/05/linz-railroad-bridge-preservation-interview/
Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol: Before John Roebling built the first wire suspension bridges in Cincinnati and Brooklyn, Ishmail Brunel built the highest and longest chain suspension bridge over the River Avon. It was his first solo project for the engineer but died before the bridge opened in December 1864. This year marks the 150th birthday of one of England’s beloved bridges. Link: Clifton Suspension Bridge Homepage
Firth of Forth Bridges in Scotland: The duo crossings feature two unique bridges: the first steel cantilever truss bridge opened in 1890 and is scheduled to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a roadway suspension bridge built next to it and is 50 years old this year. You can see the photos submitted by Mark Watson in the category of Best Photo. More about the history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forth_Bridge
Tower Bridge in London: This bridge is perhaps the cornerstone of bridges built during the Victorian era, as it was built in 1894 and features a combination suspension and draw bridge. It just celebrated its 120th birthday this summer and now has a new glass platform where people can look down from the towers. More here: http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/
Natchez Trace Parkway at Birdsong Hollow, TN: This soon-to-be 20-year old bridge is unique not only because of its design and its conformity to the environment, but also its height above the Harpeth River Valley- 150 feet above the valley floor. Calvin Snead has a brief summary on this bridge here.
Here are the list of candidates for the 2014 Ammann Awards in the category of Best Kept Secret in the areas of individual bridges and regions with a high number of historic and aesthetically significant bridges. Have a look at the summary and links of the candidates before voting using the links below:
BEST KEPT SECRET INDIVIDUAL:
BEST KEPT SECRET TOUR GUIDE:
BEST KEPT SECRET INDIVIDUAL BRIDGE:
Independence Bowstring Arch Bridge in Independence, Kansas– Built in 1871, this iron bowstring arch bridge is an earlier work of the King Bridge Company in Cleveland, OH. The bridge has been abandoned since 1964 but given its proximity to the city of Independence, it may have an afterlife in a few years. Link: http://bridgehunter.com/ks/montgomery/independence-bowstring/
Front Yard Bridge in Packwood, Washington: Photographer and pontist K.A. Erickson found this bridge sitting on the lawn of a property owner, who purchased the bridge and had it relocated to its present spot. Given the railing features, the concrete bridge dates back to 1915.
Fort Morgan Rainbow Arch Bridge in Colorado: Built in 1923, this 11-span Marsh arch bridge with a total span of 1,100 feet was the longest bridge of its kind when it was built. It has been converted to a pedestrian crossing, providing walkers and bikers with a splendid view of the South Platt River. Link: http://bridgehunter.com/co/morgan/fort-morgan/
Powwow River Polygonal Truss Bridge in Amesbury, MA: This bridge is one of the smallest polygonal through truss bridges ever built. It is a question of what truss design it features. More here.
Clarendon White River Bridge in Monroe County, AR: Spanning the White River, the Clarendon Bridge is one of three sister bridges spanning the White River in Arkansas. Yet the cantilever truss bridge’s future is in doubt as a replacement bridge is being built. Yet efforts are being made to preserve and restore it for bike trail use. More here.
River Durme Bridge in Hamme, Belgium- This bridge has a history in itself as it featured a three-span curved Town lattice pony truss bridge, carrying rail traffic and built in ca. 1870. Yet the center span of the bridge was destroyed by German troops during World War I and was subsequentially replaced with a swing span with Warren truss features. This bridge still serves traffic today.
Monks Bridge on the Isle of Man (the UK)– Located in the northernmost province of the United Kingdom, this bridge features one of the oldest examples of stone arches designed gothically. Possibly built during the Roman era, this bridge is one of the oldest existent structures in the British Isles.
Oschutztal Viaduct in Weida, Germany- Located in the German state of Thuringia, this iron deck Town Lattice deck truss bridge spans the valley where the village of Weida is located. Once serving rail traffic connecting Greiz and Gera, the bridge was abandoned in the 1980s but plans are in the making to repurpose the structure for recreational purposes, especially as it just turned 130 years old this year. Link with photos: http://www.viadukt-weida.de/
Lindaunis Schlei Drawbridge in Eckerfoerde, Germany– Located in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, this combination Strauss Bascule pony truss bridge and Warren bedstead through truss approach span was built in 1927 and serves rail traffic between Kiel and Flensburg. Yet its future is in doubt as plans are underway to replace the structure. More here.
Swimming Bridge in Wuppertal, Germany- Located in North Rhine-Westphalia near Dortmund, this bridge is a primitive version of the pontoon bridge, with a catwalk being supported by boats. More here.
Pont de Langlois / pont Van Gogh, Arles – Bouche-du-Rhône; France– Spanning a small canal in Arles, France, this bridge was the subject of many paintings by Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh. A replica of the double leaf bascule bridge retains its original form and is still a popular attraction today. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langlois_Bridge
The Bridges of Prague, Czech Republic: Over three dozen bridges can be found in the Czech capital, most of them over the Charles River, including the city’s beloved Charles Bridge, built in the Medieval period and still attracts many tourists. Link: http://www.1pragueguide.com/bridges-in-prague
The Bridges of Budapest, Hungary:The Danube divides the Hungarian capital into Buda and Pest, but several crossings, including the Chain Suspension Bridge, Margaret’s Bridge, Liberty Truss Bridge and Langomanyos Bridge tie the city together. Link: http://www.bridgesofbudapest.com/
The Bridges of Manchester, Great Britain: Once known as one of the dirtiest industrial towns in England, the second largest city behind London is now a huge financial hub, with several bridges, like the Salford Quay, the Blackfriar’s and Albert Bridges connecting the districts. Link: http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/bridges.html
The Bridges of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan/Ontario: If one thinks of Sault Ste. Marie, one can think of the International Bridges and their double-arches. Yet, there are at least seven more bridges to see on both sides of the border when looking down from the viaduct. This includes two steel arches and a multiple-span steel truss bridge with a vertical lift span, just to name a few. More on the bridges here.
The Bridges of Pittsburgh: The city has a lot to be proud of, apart from the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins. The second largest city has a wide array of historic bridges spanning three rivers, among them: the Smithfield, Hot Metal, Warhol, Carson, Clemente, Dusquene, Fort Pitt, Manchester, and Point Bridges, just to name a few. The Pittsburgh Gazette did a series on these bridges which you can view here: http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/bridges/monongahela/
The Bridges of Doniphan County, Kansas:Located west of St Joseph, this county features a variety of unusual bridges, reused with parts salvaged from other structures. More here.
The Bridges of Bertram, Iowa: Located east of Cedar Rapids, this community has a wide selection of truss bridges dating back to 1885, including the now destroyed Ely Street Bridge. More on the bridges here.
The Bridges of Miami County, Kansas: This county features several truss bridges, including the reverse Parker truss bridge, several arch bridges and two Marsh Arch bridges. It is perhaps the most populous in the state when it comes to historic bridges. Link: http://bridgehunter.com/ks/miami/
The Bridges of Camden State Park in Minnesota: Located southwest of Marshall in Lyon County, the park features remnants of the village of Camden, located in the Redwood River valley. This includes the bridges serving the park, all but one of which are scheduled to be replaced in the near future. More here.
Here is a list of candidates and their summaries for the 2014 Ammann Awards in the category Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge. Each summary features work that was done on the bridge. This will be useful when you vote for your favorite candidate, which you can click on this link below:
Cherry Street Bridge in Toronto, Canada: This 1930 Strauss Bascule Bridge features a Warren bedstead through truss with riveted connections. The bridge was rehabilitated for two years between 2012 and this year and featured the replacement of the trunnion as well as some bridge parts and decking. More on this complicated task here.
Raven Rock Bridge in Hunterdon County, New Jersey: Built in 1878 by a local bridge builder, this cast iron through truss bridge is also nominated for Bridge of the Year. The 130-foot long bridge was rehabilitated this year when it was disassembled, sandblasted and reassembled onto new abutments and received a new deck. Bridge looks like new, as seen in the article here.
Poughkeepsie Viaduct in New York: Spanning the Hudson River between New York Poughkeepsie and Highland this 1889 iron cantilever deck truss bridge once served a rail line until its closure in 1974. After being abandoned for over 30 years, it was restored for pedestrian traffic in 2009 and has become the longest and largest pedestrian bridge in the world. It became a poster boy for other examples for other long-span bridges to be restored. If this bridge wins here, it would be long overdue.
Waterford Bridge in Minnesota: Spanning the Cannon River near Northfield, this Camelback through truss bridge was one of the finest works of the Hennepin Bridge Company, owned by a family of bridge builders. Apart from the need to integrate it into the bike trail network, this is one of many key reasons why new abutments and wing walls were needed for the bridge, which was done earlier this year. You’ll find a photo of the bridge under the category of Best Photo.
Red Bridge in Kansas City, MO: Built in 1932, this bridge is unique because of its curved truss design, which is unusual for bridge construction. Once carrying US Hwy. 50 before it was realigned onto the new bridge (converting it to local traffic), this structure received new life for the third time this year when it was converted to a bike/pedestrian bridge, integrating it into a nearby park. That park now has a wonderful masterpiece with a lot of history to share. More on this bridge can be found here.
Freedom Prime Bridge in Indiana: Here’s a rarity one will never see again in this lifetime: A 300-foot Pennsylvania petit through truss bridge being relocated from Owen County to Delphi, restored on site and hoisted onto its new foundations: over a major highway. Someone must’ve read about the successes of Silverdale Bridge in Minnesota and found ways to make it happen here. Typical of Indiana but rare for a bridge this size: Link: http://www.jconline.com/videos/news/local/indiana/2014/09/09/15348403/
Saline River Bridge at US Hwy. 183 in Kansas: This 600 foot long, seven span open spandrel arch bridge was made obsolete by a newer crossing this year and but left in place, to be used as a bike trail. While more work is likely needed in the future, this step is the biggest and will garner more attention from tourists who want to visit and photograph the bridge in the future. Link: http://bridgehunter.com/ks/ellis/saline-183/
Devil’s Elbow Bridge in Missouri: Once part of the Mother Road, Route 66, this 1923 two-span through truss bridge underwent extensive repairs during the year, which includes new decking and truss parts so that it can be open to traffic again. This bridge is located in Pulaski County and an overview of the project, completed in May, can be found here:
Vischer’s Ferry Bridge at Erie Canal in New York: Spanning the second Erie Canal, this Whipple Bowstring Arch Bridge was rehabilitated by rebuilding the abutments using limestone and replacing the decking. A rather simple task but one that will keep the pedestrian crossing in place for generations to come.
Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney but hope to be back on the road late 2020. Feedback / questions are more than welcome, happy travels