After a long delay due to illness and other non-column related items, voting has now commenced for this year’s Othmar H. Ammann Awards, presented by the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles. This year’s entries feature a vast array of bridges- old and new from almost every single aspect. We even have a new entry from Africa and that bridge is unique because of its historic and aethetic features that warranted its candidacy endorsement by one of our followers. For the first time, we have a re-entry of one candidate because of missing bridges and/or information provided by the locals which had not existed from last year’s entry. And for the third time, a lifetime legacy candidate entered the category and it appears he might finally win this one, assuming he can beat out a massive amount of compatition.
So who will win the Ammann Awards this year? This is where you as the reader can decide. Just simply click onto the link here. This will take you to the wordpress version of the Chronicles, where the ballot is posted. Follow the instructions there and you are free to choose which bridges and persons deserve to win the Awards.
Voting will close on January 7th with the winners of the Ammann Awards to be announced afterwards. As usual, it will be done after the author presents his Author’s Choice Awards.
While the category of Best Photo features the finest photos on the ballot, the candidates in the other categories each have a link and/or short summaries so that you can easily decide which ones deserve the awards. For instance:
Nels Raynor of BACH Steel- For over two decades, Nels has successfully restored dozens of historic truss bridges made of metal thanks to his expertise in welding and his steadfast assistance with other bridge preservationists in identifying and restoring relict crossings of the path. This includes the most recent completion of the restoration of Springfield Bowstring Arch Bridge in Arkansas. More details on him and BACH Steel you will find here.
James Baughn of Bridgehunter.com- In 2002, James created a database devoted to historic bridges in the Midwestern part of the United States. Fast-forward to the present, and you will find one of the most comprehensive bridge database websites in the country with information and photos of almost every bridge available, both present and past and regardless of its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. His website you will find here.
Nathan Holth of HistoricBridges.org- A product of a high school genius who later became a history teacher and advocate of preserving historic bridges, Nathan Holth’s website focuses on historic bridges and its documentation that is more detailed than with the nationally-known documentation of historic artefacts, such as HABS/HAER and the National Register in which he recommends alternatives to demolishing historic bridges. In its 15th year, Nathan has covered two-thirds of the US plus half of Canada. The website with all his work can be found here.
Todd Wilson and Lauren Winkler of Bridgemapper.com- Like Nathan Holth and James Baughn, this duo from Pittsburgh has a website that is focused on the historic bridges in western Pennsylvania with a focus on the greater Pittsburgh area. An interactive map with information on the existence and evolution of these geniune structures can be found here.
Nic Janberg of Structurae.net- While James Baughn plans to expand Bridgrhunter.com to include the international bridges, he may want to take some lessons from this man from Dusseldorf, Germany, home of the International Structural Database, Structurae.net. Created and maintained by Janberg and running since 2001, this database features information and photos of not only bridges- past and present, but other unique architectural works as well as their engineers and architects. To look at the website and information, click here.
Mary Charlotte Aubry Costello- In the mid-1980s, the social studies teacher from Waterloo, Iowa started travelling and sketching historic bridges along the Mississippi River as part of a book project presenting some interesting facts and images of these unique structures from her eyes. In the end, there were two volumes of work (produced in 1998 and 2002, respectively) that are still being read to this day. More on the book here.
Dave King- A bridge photographer who has contributed to Bridgehunter.com, Dave has presented some unique bridges for the state of Iowa, many of which are still standing albeit closed to traffic.
Royce and Bobette Haley- A husband-wife photo-duo, this couple has lit up the Bridgehunter.com website with their bridges as part of their cross-country bridgehunting tour. They have been doing this since 2013 and are still going strong.
Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge:
Green Bridge in Des Moines, Iowa- This three-span through truss bridge received a massive make-over last year and part of this year, which included new decking, new paint, new pin-connected joints and new LED lighting. Some information on this bridge can be found here.
Springfield Bowstring Arch Bridge in Conway County, Arkansas- This 1870s iron bridge literally was brought back from the brink. Found leaning to one side, Raynor, Julie Bowers and crew worked together to relocate it and restore it to its former glory. Details here.
Marine’s Bridge in Wisconsin
Gospel Street Bridge in Paoli County, Indiana- Destroyed by a semi-truck on Christmas Day, workers put the old truss bridge together, piece-by-piece to make it look like new again. A Christmas gift for the people of Paoli.
Allan’s Mill Covered Bridge in Miami County, Ohio
Bowstring Arch Bridge at Merrimack College in Boston
Bowstring Arch Bridge at Columbiana County Fairgrounds in Ohio
Ponte Pince Sao Vincente in Santos, Brazil- This suspension bridge, built in the 1910s, received a massive make-over which included new decking and cables as well as some work on the towers. More on this project here.
War Eagle Bridge in Benton County, Arkansas
Tour Guide International (Click onto the name to access the websites):
Glauchau (Saxony), Germany- This was reentered due to additional bridges and information contributed by locals and historians. It had finished fifth in last year’s standings.
Aue/Schneeberg (Saxony), Germany- This is a combination of tour guides for Aue, Schlema, Schneeberg and Zschorlau. There are two parts: Part I and Part II. As a bonus, an exclusive on the Stone Arch Bridge at Schlema is included here. Zschorlau’s Bridges are under the Category of Mystery Bridges.
St. Petersburg, Russia- There are several websites but they have been bundled into one mini-library guide here.
Tour Guide USA (Click onto the names for access to the bridges):
Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge (USA): (Click onto the names of the bridges for photos and info)
Bridge of the Year:
Bockau Arch Bridge near Aue (Saxony), Germany- the 400 year old bridge is slated for replacement even though there is a movement to stop the process.
Green Bridge in Waverly, Iowa- This 1910s bridge is the focus of politics where three sides (preservationists, proponents of a 2-lane bridge abd proponents of a pedestrian bridge) are vying for its future.
Frank J. Wood Memorial Bridge in Maine- Locals are going head-to-head with Maine DOT over this bridge, with the former wanting to keep the bridge in use.
Springfield Bowstring Arch Bridge in Conway County, Arkansas- A masterpiece of preservation saving it from disaster and making it a new crossing.
The Wave in Glauchau (Saxony), Germany- first bridge in the world to have a suspension span whose roadway is draped over the pylons.
Mathematic Bridge in Cambridge, UK– a key landmark in the University City that is now a puzzle game.
Goteik Viaduct in Myammar– a find by a pair of tourists that is unheard of at present. Really tall but over a century old steel railroad viaduct
Cobban Bridge in Chippewa County, WI– the future of the two-span Pennsylvania through truss bridge is in the balance after it was closed off to all traffic. Again, progressives and preservations are fighting over its future.
Hvita Bridge in Iceland- a rare, unheard of historic landmark on a remote island.
Cedar Covered Bridge in Madison County, Iowa– three juveniles tried burning this bridge down. The bridge is being rebuilt AGAIN!
The Covered Bridges of New Brunswick, Canada- These bridges are unique in their length and histories but in danger due to age, weather extremities and carelessness.