2020 Bridgehunter Awards Part 4: Bridge of the Year, Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge and Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge

Photo by Math on Pexels.com

Before going to the fourth and final part, let’s have a look at the first three parts so you have a chance to vote in all them:

Part 1: Best Bridge Photo: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/2020-bridgehunter-awards-best-bridge-photo/

Part 2: Tour Guide International/ US Bridges: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/2020-bridgehunter-awards-part-2-tour-guide/

Part 3: Mystery Bridge/ Lifetime Achievement: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/2020-bridgehunter-awards-part-3-mystery-bridge-and-lifetime-achievement/

And now the fourth and final ballot of the 2020 Bridgehunter Awards, which features the categories Bridge of the Year, Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge and Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge(s).

Before voting you can have a look at the stories behind these candidates that are up for this award:


Photo by Royce and Bobette Haley

Meadows Road Bridge/ Northampton County Bridge 15 IN Northhampton County, Pennsylvania: This 162-year old stone arch bridge is the focus of preservation efforts because of its unique arches. It’s been listed as one of the state’s most endangered. More here: http://bridgehunter.com/pa/northampton/meadows-road/

Photo by James Baughn

Kern Bowstring Arch Bridge in Mankato, MN:  The longest bridge of its kind in the US and second longest in the world became a subject of rescue efforts as it was removed and dismantled this year. Now it will have a new home but in the same town.  More here: https://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/city-county-endorse-mankatos-kern-bridge-bid/article_dff6378a-2ea6-11eb-9c6d-cfb697a3dc5e.html & https://bridgehunter.com/mn/blue-earth/bh36213/

Photo by James McCray

Edmund Pettis / John Lewis Bridge in Selma, Alabama: The 80-year old, steel through arch bridge was a center of controversy throughout the entire year, as black rights activists have vied to have the name changed in honor and memory of Mr. Lewis, who died in July 2020: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/john-lewis-dies-renaming-selma-al-bridge-picking-up-speed-despite-opposition/

The Okoboji Bridge at Parks Marina in Okoboji, Iowa: Long abandoned for two decades, the bridge was feared doomed after floodwaters knocked the Thacher pony truss off its foundations in 2011. The bridge was saved and is now at Parks Marina- in Okoboji! Link: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/the-okoboji-bridge-at-parks-marina/

The Castlewood Bridge at Threshing Grounds in South Dakota: The Thacher through truss had once spanned the Big Sioux River until it disappeared- only to be discovered at the Threshing Grounds in Twin Rivers. Story here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/castlewood-bridge-in-a-new-home-on-the-threshing-grounds/

Frank J. Wood Bridge in Maine: The three-span through truss bridge has been a center of controversy between those who want to keep the bridge (the residents) and those who want to tear it down (Maine DOT). Already the case is going through the federal courts. Missing is of course Judge Marilyn Milian.  https://www.facebook.com/FrankJWoodBridge/

Photo by Eugene Birchall

Bailey Truss Bridges: Designed using spare parts by an unknown civil engineer, Donald Bailey left a legacy in the remaining crossings that had once played a key role in ending World War II: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/10/16/wartime-bridge-the-legacy-of-the-bailey-truss/

Photo by Richard Doody

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona: 50 years ago, a millionaire bought a 700 year old arch bridge and relocated it across the ocean: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/06/07/why-an-american-bought-the-london-bridge/

Photo by Andrew Raker

DuSable Bridge in Chicago: One of the first drawbridges in the city, this bridge turned 100 years old in 2020. https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/dusable-bridge-chicagos-most-famous-turns-100-thursday-block-club-chicago/

Photo taken by S. Moeller. Public domain through wikipedia

Fehmarn Bridge in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany: The World’s first basket-weave through arch bridge got spared demolition after residents fought to save the structure for local traffic to Fehmarn Island, while a Belt Tunnel, carrying a motorway and railroad route is expected to be built  https://www.railwaygazette.com/infrastructure/immersed-tunnel-to-relieve-fehmarnsund-bridge/55939.article



The next category to vote is the Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge. We have a wide variety of historic bridges from around the world that have been restored to their original glory. A link to an article for each bridge candidate is available for you to read before voting:


Photo by Ben Tate

Stillwater Lift Bridge in MN/WI: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNDOT/bulletins/28de42b

Photo by Roger Deschner

Rainbow Arch Bridge in Fort Morgan, CO: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/fort-morgan-historic-rainbow-arch-bridge-journeys-with-johnbo/

Photo by Patrick Gurwell

Bayonne Bridge in New Jersey: https://www.worldhighways.com/wh10/news/award-bayonne-bridge-project-us

Phtot by Daniel Hopkins

New Freedom Truss Bridge in York, Pennsylvania: https://eu.ydr.com/story/news/2020/06/26/historic-bridge-truss-restored-set-back-into-place-new-freedom-over-york-county-rail-trail/3263481001/

Photo by Alexander Kapp

Stone Arch Bridge at Yorkshire Dales, UK: https://www.cumbriacrack.com/2020/07/07/historic-bridge-is-restored-to-former-glory/

Source: Greek City Times

Plaka Bridge in Greece: https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/02/19/historic-plaka-bridge-is-fully-restored-after-extensive-repairs/

Phtot by Matthew Hemmer

King Bowstring Arch Bridge in Sidney, Ohio: https://www.sidneydailynews.com/news/187638/historic-bridge-dedicated?fbclid=IwAR3WfOy5PeXMo21Qi0OCHd_wlm4gpyolJvUTtGSs2vmQYqfuHdrO0vZ9pYY

No photo description available.
Photo by BACH Steel

Clover Ford Bridge in Shelbyville, Indiana: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=bachsteel&set=a.1958505750874080

Historic Skarfou bridge in Phaphos, Greece: https://in-cyprus.philenews.com/paphos-historic-skarfou-bridge-restored/

Caracau Viaduct in Romania: https://allgemeinebauzeitung.de/abz/hilfe-bei-instandsetzungsarbeiten-caracau-bruecke-in-rumaenien-saniert-40568.html



And lastly, we have the category Best Kept Secret for an Individual Bridge. Although the candidates from America and Europe have been meshed together, the winners will be announced in separate categories- American and International. Here are the candidates:


Sarto Swing Bridge in Louisiana: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/sarto-iron-bridge-in-louisiana-dave-trips-documentary/

Humpback Covered Bridge in Virginia: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/hyb-humpback-covered-bridge/

The Bridge at Skinkatteberg, Sweden: https://instaology.com/2020/02/04/under-a-bridge-in-skinnskatteberg/

The Bridge at Oakwood Cemetary in Syracuse, NY: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/oakwood-cemetery/

Singing Bridge in Frankfort, Kentucky: http://bridgehunter.com/ky/franklin/37B00065N/

Finland Railway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Russia: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/finland-railway-bridge-in-st-petersburg-tales-from-the-braziers-grotto/

Dömitz Railroad Bridge in Germany: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/domitz-railroad-bridge/

Jastrowie Bridge in Poland: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/jastrowie-rail-bridge-in-poland/

Stańczyki Viaducts in Poland: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/stanczyki-viaducts-this-two-abandoned-overpasses-are-among-the-largest-bridges-in-poland/

Simon Kenton Bridge in Kentucky and Ohio: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/what-a-day-it-was-the-inauguration-of-a-bridge-between-kentucky-and-ohio-transportation-history/

Sweetland Bedstead Truss Bridge in Iowa: https://bridgehunter.com/ia/muscatine/old-sweetland-creek/?fbclid=IwAR1_CXTCgwgSUM7WcCdPXoIJX2U6kyD3ifQrPEVlN4T4Wy3aSgZW6vKA3ls



The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles would like to apologize for the delay in getting the ballots out there for people to vote on. We learned that one of our fellow pontists, James Baughn, died unexpectedly on Sunday the 6th while he was hiking. He was only three weeks shy of being 40. Mr. Baughn was the webmaster of bridgehunter.com for almost two decades, having compiled tens of thousands of bridges in the form of photos, information and history, thus making it the largest web database in the United States and second largest in the world behind structurae.net, based in Düsseldorf. A tribute has been written in his memory, which can be seen here. It includes the interview I did prior to his death.

A memorial is being created to honor James for his work with bridgehunter.com. This includes plans to continue with the website to ensure that people can contribute photos, stories and other information on bridges in the US. For more information on how to contribute to the fund, click here for details.

Therefore, to make the voting process fair, the voting will end on January 22nd at 11:59pm your local time. The winners will be announced a day later. In his memory and to honor him, there will be some upcoming name changes for the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards, which includes a new category. The announcement will be made once the winners are announced in January.

And now, without further ado, let’s make Mr. Baughn happy. Go out there and vote! 🙂 ❤

Remembering James Baughn: webmaster at bridgehunter.com

Photo taken in 2010 during the Historic Bridge Weekend Conference in Pittsburgh

The Bridgehunting community is mourning the loss of a great pontist, whose main goal was life is to explore new things and save the old ones for the next generations to see. James Baughn was an original. I first got to know him when he started his website, bridgehunter.com, which had been known at first as Historic Bridges of the Midwest. He was just getting started with his set of photos and information on bridges from his homestate of Missouri and after finding his website, I decided to add some of my own from where I grew up in Minnesota and Iowa. That was 18 years ago during the time I was doing my Master’s studies at the University of Jena, in eastern Germany. At that time, there were only a couple other contributors, one of them was Nathan Holth who had started his campaign to save historic bridges in Michigan and later on in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Another person to add to the list was Todd Wilson, who started bridgemapper.com and focused on the bridges in and around Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. It was James’ website that led to the creation of Nathan’s and Todd’s websites. James later expanded his website, which led to the coming of dozens of contributors, who submitted photos, articles and stories of bridges throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, some of the structures that I had never heard of before. It was through us that we now have the largest database full of bridges, past and present in the United States and second largest in the world behind Structurae.net based in Düsseldorf in Germany. It was through him that we have regular contributors, including the likes of John Marvig, Luke Hardin, Julie Bowers, Melissa Brand-Welch, Tony Dillon, Royce and Bobbett Haley, Dave King, Mike Goff and others.

I met James in person for the first time at the Historic Bridge Weekend Conference in Pittsburgh in 2010, and my first impression was that he was a quiet and introverted person, but one who was very nice and helpful. We became close friends and stayed in touch, even when we organized three more Historic Bridge Weekends afterwards- he did the one in Missouri in 2011, I organized one in Iowa in 2013. Yet it was through his website and his influence that led to my creation of the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles in late 2010. The purpose: To focus on news stories relating to historic bridges, preservation and even tourism. Many of the bridges posted in his bridgehunter.com website became the focus of my bridge tours with a goal of encouraging people to learn about them, preferrably while visiting them. Because of his success with bridgehunter.com, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chronicles in 2019 and you can read the interview I did with him in the link here:

Interview with James Baughn: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/bridges-computer-largest-bridge-database-an-interview-with-james-baughn-about-bridgehunter-com/

Yesterday I received the news that he had died unexpectedly by two friends of mine in the Bridgehunting community. He had been hiking at the time of his death and it happened just days after I posted the interview. His passing happened on December 6th, just weeks before he would have been 40 years old. Needless to say, like everyone else, I am very shocked at the loss and there are really no words to describe it. James was one of a kind- a person who was really helpful and really dedicated to his work. He made a library of bridges, but he was also a writer. He helped with preserving bridges and had planned on writing a book on Missouri’s bridges in the future. Many who have worked with him found him to be the person I consider him to be: one with extensive knowledge, a lot of skill at solving the toughest of problems and one who can lead the way when it is needed. He was a very kind and selfless person and one who was there when we needed his help. We hung out a lot during our bridgehunting tours and enjoyed every stop at every historic bridge. With his loss, we lost a real great bridge librarian and an even greater friend. With his loss, it’s up to us to pick up where he had started and sadly, left off.

Obituary: https://www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com/obituaries/James-Baughn-2/#!/Obituary

Funeral services will take place at a later time but you can help his family. More in the link above. A fundraiser has been created to honor James and his commitment to the historic bridge community for documenting and saving historic bridges, in particular in Missouri. Memorial contributions can be made to the Missouri Bridge Preservation Fund, c/o The Historic Bridge Foundation, 1500 Payne Ave, Austin, Texas 78757. According to recent information, the website bridgehunter.com will remain.

Photo by Sunsetoned on Pexels.com

Leb wohl, meine Brücken-Buddy ❤