In Bernardston, Mass., cleanup efforts are under way following work to ensure the reliability and continued use of Bridge 42.81 for passenger and freight railroad operations. The rehab took place in a short period of time, but required a great deal of coordination. ‘The primary construction was successfully performed during a five-day service outage period in mid-September,’ said Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) spokesperson Patrick Marvin.
I knew before I left to travel north through Michigan earlier in the week, that I would have some extra time before meeting friends. So before I left, I checked out the web for some place I could hang out for awhile and take some pictures. I found the Historic Bridges County Park which highlighted — ahhh … historic bridges.
I knew it was off 94 near Battle Creek, but that’s all. My GPS led me down miles of bumpy roads greatly in need of repair. I thought about turning around, but kept thinking I had to come to the park behind the next bend or the next bend or maybe the next bend –
And then I was there – at a beautiful landscaped area next to the Kalamazoo River. The parking lot was full. People were there mostly to canoe and kayak down the river. The river itself…
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It was such a lovely day again that I decided to walk the short stretch along the road that runs along the side of the railway from Tywyn to the new Tonanau Bridge over the river Dysynni. It forms part of the Welsh Coast Path, which follows long sections of the 882 mile Welsh coastline, with some unavoidable detours inland. Until recently one of these detours was where the Welsh Coastal Path met the river Dysynni at the point at which it opens into the sea. Here it was necessary to divert inland along the Dysynni as far as Bryncrug, returning on the other side of the river to rejoin the coast, an admittedly very attractive detour of some eight miles. In January 2013 this all changed when a new 50m bridge was installed to link the two parts of the Coast Path.
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In honor and memory of Eric Delony, who died on 23rd October in Santa Fe, New Mexico after battling Alzheimer’s Disease for many years, the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles is rolling out two different end logos, which will be on display between now and the time the winners of the 2018 Othmar H. Ammann Awards as well as the Author’s Choice Awards are given out in January. Mr. Delony, who worked for the National Park Service and its arm, the Historic American Engineering Record for over three decades, was the driving force in saving and documenting as well as promoting the restoration of thousands of historic bridges in the United States, while encouraging others in the Pontist community and beyond to continue with the work after he retired in 2003. A write-up from 2017 can be found here. It includes a write-up by the National Park Service in the comment section. One of the bridges he saved, a Bollmann truss span, is depicted here. It can also be found on the Chronicles’ facebook page, which will remain as a cover page photo until after the awards are given out. The other is a slight alteration bearing the Chronicles’ name.
The Chronicles will accept any stories, memories and even photos of Eric and his work with historic bridges during the last two months of the year. Those who wish to contribute should submit a small summary and/or photos to Jason Smith using the contact details at the end of this article. While my tribute and an interview were published in 2017, there are other stories for sure that some of you would like to share with regards to your experiences working with the “king of historic bridges.” Therefore, we would like to read them so that we can share some memories and remember him for who he was to many of us in the community- a person who saw historic bridges from a humane perspective and not that of a modernist.
ONE MONTH TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES FOR THE 2018 AMMANN AWARDS:
You have between now and the first of December to submit your photos and candidates to this year’s Ammann Awards. The Ammann Awards are given out in the categories of Best Bridge Photo, Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge, Bridge Tour Guide, Best Kept Secret (Individual Bridge), Mystery Bridge and Lifetime Achievement. A link to the Awards and the list of recent winners can be found here. There will be a list of previous winners that will also be posted when the Chronicles is posted in wikipedia, which will take place before the end of this year. Nevertheless, the deadline to submit all entries is 1 December at 11:59pm Chicago time, which is 2 December at 8:00am Berlin time. All entries are open in both the US, as well as abroad for the categories are divided into American and International.
The form to submit both the Award nominees and all the stories with Eric are here:
We’re looking forward to receiving both, as this year’s Ammann Awards honors the man who spearheaded the bridge preservation movement.
Every bridge is full of surprises, both big and small, regardless of when and where you find them. Some are haunted and some are waiting to be discovered. However, just be aware that when you find a bridge that is dark and haunted, and you want to investigate, you may find something unexpected, as I saw in this pic, while visiting a covered bridge in Hennersdorf, a small village in Saxony that is tucked away in the Valley of the River Zschopau, only a few minutes from Flöha.
Are you ready to take the challenge? As a photographer and pontist, I would. 😉 Happy Pic and Treating! 🙂
The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles, as well as members of the historic bridge community, preservations, historians and the like are sadden to hear of the recent passing of Eric DeLony. He died last week at the age of 74. He spearheaded efforts in documenting and preserving historic bridges in the United States during his time at the Historic American Engineering Record for over three decades. He had served as Chief from 1987 until his retirement in 2003. I had met him once while in New Mexico in 1999 and had been in touch with him many times via e-mail talking a lot about historic bridges and all the problems pertaining to preservation vs modernization and found him to be open and a “walking encyclopedia” on many bridge-related subjects. It was through his influence that hundreds of historic bridges have been saved and reused for recreational purposes. It was also through him that we have the likes of Kitty Henderson, Julie Bowers, Nathan Holth, James Baughn and Todd Wilson, who have continued their efforts in the work of historic bridges, picking up where he had left off. It was also through his inspiration that the Chronicles, launched in 2010, is what it is today.
I did a tribute to Eric in January 2017 as part of the 50h anniversary of the National Register of Historic Places and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. I’m reposting this in his honor, thanking him for his five decades of dedication and service. Our hearts go out to his family, colleagues, friends and those who knew him all these years, with two words to tell him:
Shaw Bridge at Claverack, New York. Photo courtesy of Jet Lowe of HABS/HAER
A gifted person provides society with a gift to make it better. A person with unusual talents shapes society to benefit all.
For Eric DeLony, a person with a passion for historic bridges not only leads efforts to save them but teaches and encourages bridge lovers and historians to love them and follow his lead. My first contact with him came in 2005 when I wrote my first documents for a Master’s class on American History at the University of Jena in Germany. For the next eight years, despite not being able to meet him in person due to time and travel expenses, I kept in contact with him and he provided some great insights to any topic pertaining to historic bridges, preservation and careers available. Eric was a walking encyclopedia and forefather of historic preservation. Graduating…
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PHILADELPHIA, PA (USA)-
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a nonprofit, is suing the state of Pennsylvania and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) over the replacement of a historic bridge that has spanned the Tinicum Creek since the War of 1812. PennDOT has been trying to replace the Headquarters Road Bridge’s stone foundation for the last 10 years due to its age — the bridge has been closed since 2011, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.