2021 Bridgehunter Awards- Results Officially In!

Upper Bridge spanning the AuSable River in Keeseville, New York

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Headlines:

Keeseville’s Historic Bridges Wins the Triple Crown- Bridge of the Year, Endangered T.R.U.S.S. and BridgeTour Guide USA

Rochester Bridge and Riverside Bridge Numbers One and Two in Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge and Lifetime Achievement

International Bridge Tour Guide Title Returns to Saxony

First Gold Medal for Schleswig-Holstein, plus another Silver and some Bronze

Plus Much More…… 🙂

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GLAUCHAU (SAXONY), GERMANY- After doing some tallying in the ten categories, the official results of the tenth annual Bridgehunter Awards is out. A lot has changed since the time the awards was introduced in 2011 as the Othmar H. Amman Awards. It started out with just a handful of categories and a handful people voting. Yet through the years, the number of interested pontists, bridge lovers and all have increased, and with that the number of category, and despite the name change in 2018, the guidelines have remained the same- your votes matter and with that, your bridge matters. We have two new categories in addition to the ones we’ve had for the last 10 years and with that, we have the official results.

As a general rule, we have the top six in each categories along with the honorably mentioned, as you can see in the table below:

Now onto the results! They are formulated as separate press releases which you can use for your news releases.

Keeseville Wins in Three Categories by a Huge Landslide:

KEESEVILLE, NEW YORK- Located on the Au Sable River at the Essex-Clinton County border, the comunity of Keeseville has a collection of rare and unique historic bridges, which includes a continuous pony truss bridge, a suspension built by a company that specialized in lenticular truss bridges, a two-span through truss bridge built by a company that specialized in building railroad cars and a stone arch bridge built by en engineer with ties with the founders of the US Constitution. Each one has a unique history but have one thing in common- they have been neglected for a very long time. Residents in the community have been vying to get the structures restored but with involvement with the two counties and even the state of New York.

The Bridges of Keeseville were in the running in the Bridgehunter Awards in the categories of Bridge Tour Guide USA, Bridge of the Year and Endangered T.R.U.S.S. (Top Ranked Unique Salvageable Structure), the third of which is a reincarnation of the T.R.U.S.S. Awards by the late James Baughn of bridgehunter.com. In all three categories the community made a huge statement to the rest of the United States and the world by cleaning the competition by this comment: “Our Bridges Matter!” By a record-setting margin, Keeseville won the triple crown. Congratulations to the community and if there are any additional reasons why these bridges should matter, one should look at Keeseville’s tour guide here. The results in the three categories are below:

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Rochester Bridge in England and Riverside Bridge in Missouri: Numbers One and Two

ROCHESTER, ENGLAND/ OZARK, MISSOURI- In the categories of Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge and Lifetime Achievement, we have the one-two punch that finished in the competition. The Rochester Bridge is a three-span steel through truss bridge whose extensive, three-year restoration project was completed this past year, under the direction of program manager of Kate Castle, *who brought years of engineering experience combined with a writer’s touch and some tender, loving care. The Riverside Bridge won 2013 Ammann Awards in the category Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge because of its restoration on-site. After sustaining damage in the floods in 2014, the two-span bridge was relocated to Ozark Mill and Finley Farms last summer and was restored to become a great dining experience. The bridge was in the running for the second time because of the monstrous achievement and the person who led the project, Kris Dyer, knew how important the bridge was to the community and coordinated the efforts to make the two projects happen.

In this year’s voting effort, the two bridges came in as a one-two punch, first to the Rochester Bridge and its caretaker, Kate Castle. Second place went to Riverside Bridge and its caretaker, Kris Dyer. In addition to that, Riverside also received the silver medal in the category Bridge of the Year, making the bridge a triple-crown silver medalist. Because of the significance of both projects, an interview with both will be conducted by the Chronicles during the course of the year, which will appear here. Congratulations to the two bridges and their caretakers. 🙂

The rest of the results can be seen in the section below. The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards paid tribute to many women in the field, but also to those who have spent much of their lives in restoring historic bridges and collecting information on the history of the bridges and the bridge engineers.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement also paid tribute to four pontists who passed away in the past year in the form of photos and bridge series. They include James Baughn, James Cooper, JR Manning and Toshirou Okamoto. These pontists spent their lives preserving and documenting historic bridges, bringing them to light for those interested in them. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles and the rest of the pontist community would like to give thanks to them for all the year’s work.

*Update: There was another person who led the Rochester Bridge restoration project but was supported by Ms. Castle. Chief Executuve Sue Threader led the actual restoration project. Nevertheless, both will be interviewed by the Chronicles when we talk about the Rochester Bridge project.

As a side note to this category, the Munksbrücke in Dagebüll, Germany and the Waterloo Truss Bridge in Virginia won the Author’s Choice Awards for Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge from an Author’s Perspective. Runners-up were the Berwick Arch Bridge and the Bridge Street Bridge in Arroyo Grande, California.

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International Bridge Tour Guide Title Returns to Saxony

GRIMMA (SAXONY), GERMANY- For the first time in three years, the winner in the category Bridge Tour Guide International is a community in Saxony. Grimma has four interesting historic bridges, including the Arch Bridge built by Mathias Poppelmann and the Suspension Bridge. There’s also a ten-span arch bridge south of the city that deserves to be part of the tour guide (see here) All have one common variant- they were damaged by floods and warfare but rebuilt to their original form. And all of them are reachable with the Mulde Bike Trail. In a low-scoring voting spree, the bridges in Grimma edged the Rope Bridges of Peru. Madrid, Verona, Rome, Nagasaki and Stockholm were also in the running. Even Gundagai, Australia, which lost the longest wooden trestle in the Southern Hemisphere, was in the running. It won the Author’s Choice Awards in the category Salvageable Mentioned as they plan to keep the Murrumbidgee River portion of the span in place and make a memorial out of the parts from the demolished structure. All of the competitors received medals as some were tied for third, fourth and fifth. Congratulations to the winner and all those that received votes.

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House Bridge in Flensburg Wins Gold- A First for Schleswig-Holstein

FLENSBURG, GERMANY- For the first time in over a decade, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein received some medals and for the town of Flensburg, it won the state’s first gold medal. In the category of Mystery Bridge, the House Bridge, located near Angelberger Strasse between the Bike Shop Bridge and the Split, edged silver medalist, the Lima Truss Bridge in Fayette County, Iowa by two points. Third place went to the second oldest arch bridge (1772) in Schleswig-Holstein, located at the harbor in Husum. Sixth place went to the Twin Bridges between Aventoft and Tonder (Denmark), which was runner-up in the Author’s Choice Awards for Best Find of a Historic Bridge. The House Bridge featured an arch bridge spanning a river which emptied into Flensburg Harbor. It represented one of 14 towers and gates that surrounded Flensburg from the 15th to 18th centuries before it was dismantled towards the end of the 18th Century. Some remnants of the towers and gates can be found in the city. More information can be found here. The rest of the results are found below:

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Photo courtesy of Nathan Holth at historicbridges.org

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Brooklyn Bridge Book and Podcast Wins Media and Genre Category

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK- In the first ever category of Media and Genre we had some interesting candidates in the running, which included ghost stories involving bridges, historic fiction novels, stories with bridges as symbols and lastly documentaries. One of the most used motifs for stories and documentaries is the Brooklyn Bridge, built by the Roebling Family in 1883, which started with John designing it, Washington taking over for his father after he died in the accident and lastly, Emily, his wife, when he was bed-ridden. Each aspect was researched and detailed, all the way down to the history of the Roebling family itself and John’s misdemeanor. David McCullough wrote the 500-page novel The Great Bridge. Dr. Greg Jackson of the podcast History that doesn’t Suck did a two-hour segment on the construction of the bridge and was in an interview with Dave Arnold and Kristen Bennett of Infrastructure Junkies that was worth two hours of listening. Now Jackson and Co. can enjoy the gold medal in the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards in this category and can expect a knock on the door for an interview with the Chronicles. The Brooklyn Bridge won over another bridge documentary, 700 Feet Down- A Documentary on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, with a bronze going to the Bostian Bridge Disaster of 1891. All in all, each candidate deserve special recognition for their pieces. Congratulations to the winner and those who voted in this category.

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Prestonburg’s School Bus Bridge Wins Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge

PRESTONBURG, KENTUCKY- For the second year in a row, the state of Kentucky took home gold in the category Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge. After the Singing Bridge in Frankfort won in last’s year’s award, this year’s award goes to a school bus converted into a covered bridge in Prestonburg. This bridge received most of the limelight in the Chronicles and other bridge social media pages not only for the creativity part, but also to dedicate it to the people who lost their lives in a bus tragedy over 70 years ago. For more on the story and how the bridge was built, click here. It was definitely shown in the polls in Best Kept Secret, as it outgunned the silver medalist Landfalloyabrua in Drammen, Norway. Both the International Bridge on Zavikon Island in the Thousand Islands and the Munksbrücke in Dagebüll, Germany took home the bronze- both bridges won the Author’s Choice Awards for Best Historic Bridge Find. The rest of the results can be found here. Congratulations to our winners in this category.

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Fairy Tale Bridge wins Best Photo Award

CHOMOTOV, CZECHIA- Our last category was a nail-biter to the end, especially with regard to the top five finishers in the category of Best Bridge Photo. This Fairy Tale Bridge in the Ore Mountains near the town of Chomotov in Czechia, photographed by Lara Varjrychová could be a perfect fit in any fairy tale, regardless of whether it is a classic one or one made up and written by a person with a passion for fairy tales. It’s a great location for hiking and as a Mystery Bridge, it is one where a person can find lots of info about its history. Even though this bridge finished fifth in the category of Mystery Bridge in this year’s awards, it won this year’s title for Best Bridge Photo, narrowly defeating silver medalist Jason Smith with the Hochdonn Viaduct in Germany, and Todd Wilson with Caveman Marsh Arch Bridge in Oregon. This year’s category featured a photo taken by someone before his passing. The Fondulac Bridge in Illinois was photographed by the late Ralph C. Hahn but submitted by Steven Lindsey. It finished fourth in the voting, followed by the Firth of Forth Bridge by Mark Watson. Tim Wayne rounded out the sixth and seventh places with the Essex Bridge in Ariel View and the night time photo of the Firth of Forth Bridge. The winner of the Best Bridge photo will be presented on the Chronicles’ website between now and August 1st. Second place photo will appear on the Chroncles’ facebook open page, third place on the Chronicles’ facebook group page, fourth place on the Chronicles’ twitter page and fifth place in the Chronicles’ LinkedIn page. Congratulations on the winners in the category of Best Bridge Photo.

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And with that, the tenth annual Bridgehunter Awards has come to a close for 2021. To view the results of the Author’s Choice Awards, click here. Hope everyone had a chance to vote for their favorite bridge and that it wins. If not, there are always chances to enter your bridge and vote next year. The 2022 Bridgehunter Awards will feature the same categories as the one from 2021 and despite a few minor changes that will be made before the voting, the whole process will be the same. To enter your candidates, we will take new candidates in the ten categories between October 1 and December 1, 2022. Voting will then proceed afterwards with the winner to be announced on January 21, 2023. For more details on the awards, click here.

Many thanks to those who voted and those who helped out by encouraging others to vote. If there is a slogan for this year’s awards, which will be included in the Chronicles, it is this: “Your Bridge Matters.” Thank you very much for your contributions and happy bridgehunting, folks. ❤ 🙂

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