Here’s a summary of the nominees for the 2014 Ammann Awards with links to learn more about them. This will help you in your voting process. After reading the summaries, click on the links to vote.
BRIDGE OF THE YEAR: https://polldaddy.com/poll/8495844/
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/
Bridge of the Year:
Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York City: Built in 1964, this bridge was the last engineering work of Othmar H. Ammann, who died eight months later in March 1965. It still holds the title of the longest suspension bridge in the US after 50 years, but who knows for how long…. Link: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-verrazano-narrows-bridge-50-years-after-its-construction-180953032/?no-ist
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/
Goodwill Bridge in Brisbane in Australia: We have bungee jumping, and we have bungee swinging, from one of the fanciest bridges in Australia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodwill_Bridge
Raven Rock Bridge in New Jersey: One of the rarest iron bridges left in the country, this 1874 bridge is the oldest in the state. Luckily for residents, this bridge underwent some renovation this summer and will remain in service for decades to come. Link: http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=newjersey/ravenrock/
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.