Virginia has three combination wood and iron Pratt through trusses remaining over the James River. One of these is located in Eagle Rock. In May 1883, the Richmond & Allegheny Railroad Company agreed with the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors to build three bridges over the James River as part of the construction of its […]
While trawling through the HABS/HAER index, I came across “Partridge trusses.” I know a little bit about trusses and I’d never heard that term, so I followed up on it. Reuben Partridge was a carpenter based in Marysville, Ohio, near Columbus, with a career spanning from the 1830s to his death in 1900. He got a […]
Gateway bridge to the city. Betanzos, Spain. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any information about this bridge that leads into the Spanish municipality of Betanzos. Even Wikipedia, often my resource of last resort failed me. Oh, there is plenty of information on the Internet about Betanzos, the population is around 13,000 residents. It […]
They call it the Bridge of Dreams because skeptics thought that turning a 370 foot long railroad bridge into a covered bridge was impossible. Turns out it was expensive but not impossible at all. Today, it’s the second longest covered bridge in Ohio, second only to this one up in Ashtabula County. It’s also the […]
That beauty in the photo is the 1883 Smithfield Street Bridge over the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. The crenelated steel castle in the foreground is the end portal for the bridge; the actual bridge structure is a set of lenticular trusses visible above and the left of that green streetcar. (….)
Normally old iron truss bridges are painted in shades of green. Not this one, Shelby County Bridge #117 on CR 600 S. Bridgehunter.com has a 2010 photo showing a rusty green, but a 2016 shot shows a shiny bright blue paint job. Approaching on CR 600S The first bridge over Conn’s Creek at this location […]
January 26, 1962 The George Mason Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., made its debut in the midst of rainy weather. Washington Post reporter Paul Schuette noted that this newest structure to cross the Potomac River and connect the nation’s capital with Arlington, Virginia, “was dedicated under umbrellas” on that Friday afternoon. Schuette also stated, “More […]
January 24, 2019 In the western section of London, a newly completed pedestrian bridge in the city’s district of Chiswick was officially opened. Chiswick Park Footbridge is located just north of Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve. This 114.8 (35-meter)-long bridge serves as a connection between Chiswick Business Park, a development that encompasses the London-area offices of […]
Winter came roaring back in time for the 220th Pic of the Week. In the past month, we had to endure record-setting temperatures of up to 20°C and in some cases, little precipitation, thus feeling like it’s a continuation of the Great Drought of 1540 but in the 2022 version. I wrote an article on this in the Flensburg Files and you can click here to read it.
This past week, we have received between 20 cm and a meter of snow, pending on where in the higher elevations you live. In parts of Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Czechia, the amounts are even higher. This is a blessing when it comes to replenishing our water supplies, which we badly need after surving the worst of the droughts. For skiiers and winter sports fans, it is time for the slopes to enjoy the nature and sport.
For photographers like yours truly, winter shots are a dream. No matter what time of day you take the camera out for pictures and no matter where you are at, if you find a vantage point where you can get your best shot, you take the time and get it. This was one of the examples where opportunity is gold in this case: a shot of the bridge at Gründelteich Park in Glauchau, taken as the pond froze over and was covered in snow. It was taken at dusk, yet the lighting from the lamps helped illuminate the bridge and the island it connects. Even more opportunistic and illuminating is the following shot below:
Here we have a close-up shot of the bridge that is lit up thanks to the lamp being in the background although it cannot be seen. This shot has the makings of a fairy tale, where a bright light from an unknown universe begins to appear, either taking someone with or stopping to see what civilization looks like. In any case this shot puts the bridge into the limelight in ways not imagined by others. The bridge itself was rebuilt in 2021 using the piers that are over a century old, yet the history of the bridge goes back to the 1880s, when a crossing was built to connect the island, which was then dedicated as a memorial to Heinrich Karl Hedrich, who invented the first underground canal system in Germany and engineered a diversion canal around Glauchau in 1857, as a response to the catastrophic floods three years earlier that killed dozens of residents, many of them lived in low-lying areas where the Zwickau Mulde flows through.
After a snowstorm presented a blackout, which kept me from posting yesterday’s results (my apologies for the delay), here are the results of the much-awaited 2022 Bridgehunter Awards. The Author’s Choice Awards have already been presented and can be seen here. The voting process this time around in comparison to last year was much easier than planned, especially given the fact that the Strawpoll platform was used this time around, where one can add the photos of the candidates. Still, it has one handicap, which was only one computer/Smartphone per WiFi was allowed to use the voting platform, thus discouraging multiple voting from households. For those who used another WiFi source to vote, I commend you for it. Nevertheless, the voting competition was exciting from start to finish. Therefore, we will have a look at the results beginning with the following:
BEST BRIDGE TOUR GUIDE USA
PITTSBURGH, PA- There is an old saying in the pontist community: You are not a true bridge lover unless you visit the cities that are laden with historic bridges and their histories. Pittsburgh is one of them as the steel city features one of the widest array of historic bridges dating back over 150 years, including the Smithfield Lenticular Truss Bridge, the Three Sister Suspension Bridges, the Hot Metal and the bridges at the Point (Ft. Pitt and Ft. Dusquene). The city of Pittsburgh won the 2022 Bridgehunter Awards, edging the second place winner The Bridges of Sheyenne River in North Dakota by 5 percentage points. Third place winner were the truss bridges of Christian County, Missouri. Congratulations on our winner from the city where the three rivers meet to become the Ohio River.
BEST BRIDGE TOUR GUIDE INTERNATIONAL
HAMBURG, GERMANY- Another city that is worth a visit because of the bridges is Hamburg. With over 2200 bridges spanning the River Elbe, the canals and streams and the railroads, the Hafen City is in competition with Pittsburgh as the cities with the highest number of bridges. And like in Pittsburgh, the Hafen City has some unique structures that are definitely worth a visit, including the Kerstin Miles Bridge, the Harburg Arch Bridge, the Freie Brücke, and the Lombards Arch Bridge, just to name a few. The city edged the Forth Bridges of England by over a percentage point for the title Best Bridge Tour Guide International. Third place goes to the arch bridges of Donegal, Ireland, which was featured in a TV documentary this past fall. Rounding off the top six include Stalden (Switzerland), Ahrtal Valley (Germany) and Halton, Cheshire (UK). It was a tight race to the very end. As a bonus, the Steinwerder Railroad Bridge finished in third place in the category Mystery Bridge. Congratulations to Hamburg on winning the title and then some.
THREE GOLDS AND A SILVER FOR THE SANDY HOOK BRIDGE/ NEW HOPE FOR THE KINGSWESTON BRIDGE
MT. PLEASANT, TENNESSEE/ BRISTOL, ENGLAND- The bridge has five concrete arches with parapets and was built by W.B. King in 1916. Maury County originally planned to remove the structure for safety reasons, yet locals have put up a fight to ensure that demolishing the bridge doesn’t happen, but instead restore the bridge as a pedestrian crossing. Now the group has three golds and a silver to add to their case. The Sandy Hook Arch Bridge won in three categories: Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge and Bridge of the Year, both by wide margins. In the category Best Bridge Photo, there were two different photos of the bridge, both of them received the top two finishes and will be showcased in the Chronicles’ website online as well as its facebook page for the next six months. The bridge also finished second in the category Endangered TRUSS, behind the winner Kingsweston Bridge in Bristol, England, a 200+ year old cast iron bridge that had been closed for almost a decade and scaffolded. During the voting process, the organization received a lift of support by the Bristol City Council as they announced plans to restore the bridge and reopen it again- in 2024! Better late than never, but it was a gift that is worth giving, in addition to winning this award. Touché for Kingsweston.
TWO AWARDS FOR COVERED BRIDGES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
CONCORD, NH- While New Hampshire has lost almost 80% of its metal truss bridges, the state can take pride in its covered bridges because of their history; especially if one has built them for decades and the other writes about them and their heritage. Arnold Graton has been awarded the Bridgehunter Awards in the category of Lifetime Achievement, outvoting Vern Mesler and the crew of Julie Bowers and Nels Raynor. In the category Best Bridge Media and Genre, the book on The Historic Covered Bridges of New Hampshire by Kim Varney Chandler, won that category but a landslide. Almost 74% of the voters favored the book for the prize, far outvoting second place finisher “Why Bridges Fail”, a PBS-Nova TV Documentary, which received 6% of the votes. Congratulations to both winners. They will be interviewed about their successes, which will appear in the Chronicles later this year.
BEVERLEY RAIL-TO-TRAIL BRIDGE WINS BEST RESTORED HISTORIC BRIDGE
PALOUSE, WA- The bridge is almost a mile long and spans the Columbia River. It has a Parker through truss and several steel trestles. It was built in 1909 for the Milwaukee Railroad and was nominated for the National Register in 1982. Now the Beverley Bridge has another award in its gallery- the Bridgehunter Awards for Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge. In a very close race, the bridge edged a railroad bridge over the Sushquehanna in New York and the Watts Mill Road Bridge by only three votes. The bridge opened as a trail crossing to the Cascade Mountains in April this year after two years of extensive rehabilitation which featured work on the steel components plus a new concrete deck. Congratulations to the crew on this achievement.
THE LAST BOW(STRING): MANY THANKS, JULIE AND NELS
HOLT, MICHIGAN- In what could be their final entry for the Bridgehunter Awards, Julie Bowers and Nels Raynor’s last candidate, the Watts Mill Road Bridge in Beaver County, Pennsylvania came in with some good metal and an Author’s Choice Award. The continuous pony truss span that was the product of the Pennsylvania Steel Company of Beaver Falls, took home silver in the category of Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge as well as 5th place in the category Best Bridge Photo. In addition to that, they won the Author’s Choice Award for Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge.
While Nels Raynor will continue with historic bridge restoration work at BACH Steel, Julie Bowers and Workin Bridges have decided to call it a career after many years of achievements in restoring historic bridges. Since 2017, the team has brought home gold medals in the categories Lifetime Achievement (for Nels Raynor in 2017), Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge (Springfield in 2017, Paper Mill in 2018 and Hayden Truss Bridge in 2019), and Bridge of the Year for Paper Mill in 2018. In addition they won silver for Bridge of the Year (Springfield 2017) and a bronze for Lifetime Achievement for Workin Bridges in 2019. Congratulations on their achievements in restoring that plus many other historic bridges over the past 30+ years. ❤ 🙂
TRINITY STREET ARCH AND BRIDGE WINS MYSTERY BRIDGE
HARTFORD, CT- In a very close race where there were many ties with nine different candidates, the Trinity Street Arch and Bridge in Hartford won the Bridgehunter Awards in the category Mystery Bridge with 12.16% of the votes, edging the Cherry Rock Bridge in Sioux Falls by 1.6% and two third place finishers by 2.6% of the votes: the Steinwerder Bridge in Hamburg and the Lone Star Church Bridge in Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Fourth place finishers were split between the Preetz Arch Bridge and the Mona Bridge in Howard County, Iowa. The Trinity Street Bridge features a multiple-span stone arch bridge and an arched tower, built over 160 years ago. The bridge has since been filled in; the towers is what is left of this unique structure. Congratulations to the City of Hartford on winning the awards.
BAILEY WINS WAR TIME BRIDGE
LONDON- May 5th, 1985 will mark the 38th anniversary of the passing of one of the greats, Sir Donald Coleman Bailey. Mr. Bailey was the inventor of the Bailey truss, a system of steel components used to assemble and reassemble truss bridge spans to be used as temporary bridge crossings. His invention contributed to the success of World War II, as these Bailey Trusses were used for the war effort. They were later used for rebuilding bridges after the war was over and eventually became a permanent fixture for civil engineering. Dozens of Bailey truss bridges still exist on both sides of the Atlantic and more are being built to this day. In a one-off event dedicated to the soldiers fighting in Ukraine, we introduced a category devoted to bridges that played a role in military conflicts in the past and present. Bailey won the Bridgehunter Awards in the category of War Time Bridges by an overwhelming majority, with 30.61% of the votes. It’s followed by the Bridges of Kyiv in second, Crimea Bridge at the Ukraine-Russia border in third, and rounding off the top six: the Eduard Benes Bridge in Usti Nad Labem, Czechia, Fordon Bridge in Poland and the Elbe River Bridge at Tangermünde (Saxony-Anhalt), Germany. Congratulations to the family of Sir Donald Bailey on winning the award.
And with that, the 2022 Bridgehunter Awards have come to close. 2023 will bring a lot of changes and hopefully more bridges that will be saved using the expertise our forefathers have taught us. More importantly we hope that we see more bridges share the spotlight wherever they are. For the 2023 Bridgehunter Awards, we start taking entries on October 1st, as usual. Voting starts on December 1st and the winners will be announced on January 22nd, 2024. More information can be found by clicking here.
Your bridge matters. Happy bridgehunting and happy trails until we meet again. 🙂