2021 Bridgehunter Awards with New Categories

One of seven iron pedestrian bridges in Schwerin’s Castle Gardens. Photo taken in 2020

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Two of the new categories honor the late James Baughn.

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GLAUCHAU (SAXONY), GERMANY-  2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Bridgehunter Awards and if there is one thing to describe this occasion, it is the „quasi“ extension of the Chronicles‘ 10th anniversary. Originally known as the Ammann Awards, it was introduced in November 2011 and since then, it has become a popular award that focuses on historic and unique bridges in terms of best examples of preserving them, bridge photography, bridge tours and honoring those who spent years in the business of historic bridge preservation and tourism.

College Drive Bridge in Marshall, MN. Photo taken in 2010

This year’s 10th anniversary pays special tribute to the late James Baughn, who was the founder of bridgehunter.com and was the recipient of the 2019 Bridgehunter Awards for Lifetime Achievement. Mr. Baughn died from injuries sustained in a fall from hiking on December 6th, 2020, just three weeks before turning 40. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been doing a Pic of the Week tribute to him and his work. This will continue through the end of this year.   For the occasion, the Bridgehunter Awards will introduce a new category and rename another in his honor. They consist of the following:

Endangered T.R.U.S.S Awards-

Originally known as the T.R.U.S.S. Awards, this was created by Mr. Baughn but was unfortunately discontinued because of the high rate of demolition in comparison to informing the public and making efforts to preserving and restoring them. The tradition is being revived in his honor. Each bridge that has a high value but is threatened with demolition or collapse will be profiled by the Chronicles during the year. During the Bridgehunter Awards, voting will commence and we will announce the top 10 endangered historic bridges when the winners of the Bridgehunter Awards are announced in January. Unlike the T.R.U.S.S. Awards, the new version is open for historic bridges both in the United States as well as on the International stage. If you have a bridge you would like to see profiled and win the Endangered T.R.U.S.S. Awards, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles, providing him with photos, details and information on the bridge and why it should be considered an Endangered Truss.  Links to the articles, including that of a wordpress or blogspot site are more than welcome.

James Baughn Individual Bridge Award-

Originally known as the Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge Award, this award has the same function as its predecessor- basically identifying a historic bridge that is largely unknown to the public, and giving it the international recognition needed. The difference is the name, for the late pontist had found and photographed many unique structures, most of them have unfortunately been replaced with a small number having been preserved for recreational use. The category is open for US and International bridges as in the past.

Sumner Avenue Overpass in Toledo, Ohio. Photo taken in 2010

In addition to the two categories honoring Mr. Baughn, the Bridgehunter Awards will feature two new categories, including the Best Bridge Media/ Genre and the Tour of Lost Bridges. To be specific:

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Best Bridge Media-

The Award will be given to the best bridge book, genre involving bridges and/or best bridge media, including websites devoted to historic/ history of bridges. Some of these will be profiled in the Chronicles. If you have a bridge source that deserves international recognition, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles. The sources can be in any language, be it English, German, French, Spanish or other sources. The category will be divided up into North American bridges and International Bridges. Links, reviews, interviews are welcome, yet a short summary in English will be needed in order for it to be entered.

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Tour of Lost Bridges-

This Award will be given to a region where there used to be historic bridges, but since a long time (earliest 5-10 years), none or even one example have remained. They can pertain to a city, county, park area, or region where there was a large number of bridges within a radius of up to 50 kilometers.  Like in the category Bridge Tour Guide, the top six will be awarded for both North American and International bridges.

And finally, the deadline and the announcement of the winners will be announced later than planned. The deadline for all submissions of bridge candidates will be December 1st, as planned, to allow for voting to commence right after that. The voting will end on January 21st, 2022 at 11:59pm, your local time,  with the winners to be announced on January 22nd. The experiment of pushing back the deadline for the 2020 worked wonders as it has allowed for voters to spend time looking at and choosing their favorites in the respective categories. For that reason, the winners will be announced towards the end of January.

And not to worry, folks. This will not interfere with the Super Bowl in American Football, which takes place at the end of January/ beginning of February.

Berliner Brücke in Halle (Saale), Germany. Photo taken in 2017

No changes to the Author’s Choice Awards are expected, except the winners will be announced as usual, a day before the winners of the Bridgehunter Awards. In this case, January 22nd, 2022 will be the date.

Entries for the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards will be taken between now and December 1st, 2021. If you have a candidate for a category, feel free to submit it to Jason Smith at the Chronicles, using the contact details below. For Best Bridge Photo, all pics submitted must be emailed manually to flensburg.bridgehunter.av@googlemail.com and must be in jpeg format with no more than 1MB.

We hope that 2021 will be a much better year for everybody, including those who had to miss out on bridgehunting due to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions. While the vaccinations are out there, we will still have the virus to deal with for a long period of time. So get the shot but stay safe out there, nonetheless.  Happy Bridgehunting until we meet again.