Phantom Bridge Stories:In connection with the BHC’s 10th anniversary special, stories and photos are being taken for the next theme in the bridgehunter series. This one has to do with Phantom Bridges. These are historic bridges that used to carry a major road but have been closed down for many years. These are abandoned structures that can be found in wooden settings and present a haunting feeling when visiting it. The question I have is what is your phantom bridge or your favorite story involving visiting a phantom bridge? A couple examples are presented in the article, including a film by Satolli Glassmeyer from History in Your Backyard. Please send your stories and photo to Jason Smith at the Chronicles, using the contact info you can find here.
After revealing the author’s pics through the Author’s Choice Awards yesterday, here are the final results of the 2019 Bridgehunter Awards. I’m doing things a bit differently this year. The results will be posted including some highlights. Yet the details of this award and the Author’s Choice Awards will be posted as a podcast, to enable readers to get to the point in terms of results but also listen to the details. The podcast will appear in the next post.
Top Four photos taken by two photographers.
New records set in this category including highest number of votes in one category.
Not one candidate had less than 200 votes
Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge International
Brunel Swivel and Rosenstein also share the Author’s Choice Award title for best Bridge Find.
Top Six finishers either from Germany or the UK.
Blow-out finish for the Swivel.
Tour Guide International
Title stays in Germany but going west for the first time
Big day for the Bridges of Edersee in this and the category Mystery Bridge (finishing second)
Tight race especially in the top three
Winner, who has been the webmaster of Bridgehunter.com, will be interviewed later in the year. Congratulations to James Baughn on his 20 years experience.
Bridge of the Year
Two Iowa Bridges finish in the top 2 outdoing the international competition. This despite their uncertain futures
Tight finish between the second and fifth place finishers.
Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge US/Canada:
Top two finishers are scheduled to be renovated.
Bronze medalist’s future unclear
Royal Springs Bridge oldest in Kentucky.
Bridge Tour Guide USA
Winner has several restored historic truss bridges including the lone remaining Stearns through truss span (Gilmore Bridge)
Book on the Bridges along Route 66 to be presented plus interview later in the Chronicles
Madison County includes the freshly rebuilt Cedar Covered Bridge plus five other original covered bridges.
Top eight finishers received more than 100 votes each. 7th place finisher (Rosenstein) received 120 votes. 8th place finisher (Wichert Viaduct) received 100 votes.
Tight finish among the top six finishers.
Third and fourth place finishers are no longer extant- Buckatunna collapsed in January ’19; Dale Bend was destroyed in an accident on January 30th, ’19
Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge
Third Award in a row in this category for the crew of Julie Bowers, Nels Raynor and crew at Workin Bridges and BACH Steel.
Longfellow and Winona Bridges Awarded Author’s Choice for their work.
Second place finisher is first bridge in the world made of cast iron. Delicate restoration needed.
Several lead changes in this category.
Last but not least, the following announcements:
This year’s Bridgehunter Awards will be its 10th, which coincides with the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles’ 10th anniversary. Therefore, entries are being taken now and until December 1st for the 2020 Bridgehunter Awards. They include two new categories which will be presented in detail in a later article. Details on how to enter is found here.
The top four finishers in the category Best Bridge Photo will have their photos displayed on the Chronicles’ website and its facebook and twitter pages between the middle of January and the end of July this year. Details in the podcast.
The 2019 Bridgehunter Awards will include a tribute to a former bridge engineer from Pittsburgh, whose invention has made inspecting bridges and diagnosting deficiencies requiring repairs instead of replacement much more advanced. More on him after the podcast.
Congratulations to all the candidates on their bridge entries and voters like you for supporting them in the 2019 Awards. And a big honor to the top finishers in each category! You deserve it! 🙂
This guest column looks at the Humber Bridge, located near Kingston upon Hull in England. Built in 1981, the bridge has a span of over 4626 feet long, surpassing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City by almost 400 feet. The 1964 bridge is still the longest suspension bridge in the United States. The Humber Bridge remained the longest suspension bridge in the world until the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan surpassed it in 1998. It still remains the longest in the UK and the European Union. Have a look at the preview of the article which features a story to it. The link will lead you to the full article in detail. Enjoy! 🙂
There aren’t so many bridges about which a poem has been composed by one of the country’s most famous poets. Yet such an accolade has been afforded to the Humber Bridge, one of Britain’ finest, if most overlooked, modern bridges. Bridge for the Living was written by Philip Larkin, himself a resident of nearby Hull […]
After a long delay due to illness and other non-column related items, voting has now commenced for this year’s Othmar H. Ammann Awards, presented by the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles. This year’s entries feature a vast array of bridges- old and new from almost every single aspect. We even have a new entry from Africa and that bridge is unique because of its historic and aethetic features that warranted its candidacy endorsement by one of our followers. For the first time, we have a re-entry of one candidate because of missing bridges and/or information provided by the locals which had not existed from last year’s entry. And for the third time, a lifetime legacy candidate entered the category and it appears he might finally win this one, assuming he can beat out a massive amount of compatition.
So who will win the Ammann Awards this year? This is where you as the reader can decide. Just simply click onto the link here. This will take you to the wordpress version of the Chronicles, where the ballot is posted. Follow the instructions there and you are free to choose which bridges and persons deserve to win the Awards.
Voting will close on January 7thwith the winners of the Ammann Awards to be announced afterwards. As usual, it will be done after the author presents his Author’s Choice Awards.
While the category of Best Photo features the finest photos on the ballot, the candidates in the other categories each have a link and/or short summaries so that you can easily decide which ones deserve the awards. For instance:
Nels Raynor of BACH Steel- For over two decades, Nels has successfully restored dozens of historic truss bridges made of metal thanks to his expertise in welding and his steadfast assistance with other bridge preservationists in identifying and restoring relict crossings of the path. This includes the most recent completion of the restoration of Springfield Bowstring Arch Bridge in Arkansas. More details on him and BACH Steel you will find here.
James Baughn of Bridgehunter.com- In 2002, James created a database devoted to historic bridges in the Midwestern part of the United States. Fast-forward to the present, and you will find one of the most comprehensive bridge database websites in the country with information and photos of almost every bridge available, both present and past and regardless of its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. His website you will find here.
Nathan Holth of HistoricBridges.org- A product of a high school genius who later became a history teacher and advocate of preserving historic bridges, Nathan Holth’s website focuses on historic bridges and its documentation that is more detailed than with the nationally-known documentation of historic artefacts, such as HABS/HAER and the National Register in which he recommends alternatives to demolishing historic bridges. In its 15th year, Nathan has covered two-thirds of the US plus half of Canada. The website with all his work can be found here.
Todd Wilson and Lauren Winkler of Bridgemapper.com- Like Nathan Holth and James Baughn, this duo from Pittsburgh has a website that is focused on the historic bridges in western Pennsylvania with a focus on the greater Pittsburgh area. An interactive map with information on the existence and evolution of these geniune structures can be found here.
Nic Janberg of Structurae.net- While James Baughn plans to expand Bridgrhunter.com to include the international bridges, he may want to take some lessons from this man from Dusseldorf, Germany, home of the International Structural Database, Structurae.net. Created and maintained by Janberg and running since 2001, this database features information and photos of not only bridges- past and present, but other unique architectural works as well as their engineers and architects. To look at the website and information, click here.
Mary Charlotte Aubry Costello- In the mid-1980s, the social studies teacher from Waterloo, Iowa started travelling and sketching historic bridges along the Mississippi River as part of a book project presenting some interesting facts and images of these unique structures from her eyes. In the end, there were two volumes of work (produced in 1998 and 2002, respectively) that are still being read to this day. More on the book here.
Dave King- A bridge photographer who has contributed to Bridgehunter.com, Dave has presented some unique bridges for the state of Iowa, many of which are still standing albeit closed to traffic.
Royce and Bobette Haley- A husband-wife photo-duo, this couple has lit up the Bridgehunter.com website with their bridges as part of their cross-country bridgehunting tour. They have been doing this since 2013 and are still going strong.
Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge:
Green Bridge in Des Moines, Iowa- This three-span through truss bridge received a massive make-over last year and part of this year, which included new decking, new paint, new pin-connected joints and new LED lighting. Some information on this bridge can be found here.
Springfield Bowstring Arch Bridge in Conway County, Arkansas- This 1870s iron bridge literally was brought back from the brink. Found leaning to one side, Raynor, Julie Bowers and crew worked together to relocate it and restore it to its former glory. Details here.
Marine’s Bridge in Wisconsin
Gospel Street Bridge in Paoli County, Indiana- Destroyed by a semi-truck on Christmas Day, workers put the old truss bridge together, piece-by-piece to make it look like new again. A Christmas gift for the people of Paoli.
Allan’s Mill Covered Bridge in Miami County, Ohio
Bowstring Arch Bridge at Merrimack College in Boston
Bowstring Arch Bridge at Columbiana County Fairgrounds in Ohio
Ponte Pince Sao Vincente in Santos, Brazil- This suspension bridge, built in the 1910s, received a massive make-over which included new decking and cables as well as some work on the towers. More on this project here.
War Eagle Bridge in Benton County, Arkansas
Tour Guide International (Click onto the name to access the websites):
Glauchau (Saxony), Germany- This was reentered due to additional bridges and information contributed by locals and historians. It had finished fifth in last year’s standings.
Aue/Schneeberg (Saxony), Germany- This is a combination of tour guides for Aue, Schlema, Schneeberg and Zschorlau. There are two parts: Part I and Part II. As a bonus, an exclusive on the Stone Arch Bridge at Schlema is included here. Zschorlau’s Bridges are under the Category of Mystery Bridges.
St. Petersburg, Russia- There are several websites but they have been bundled into one mini-library guide here.
Green Bridge in Waverly, Iowa- This 1910s bridge is the focus of politics where three sides (preservationists, proponents of a 2-lane bridge abd proponents of a pedestrian bridge) are vying for its future.
Goteik Viaduct in Myammar– a find by a pair of tourists that is unheard of at present. Really tall but over a century old steel railroad viaduct
Cobban Bridge in Chippewa County, WI– the future of the two-span Pennsylvania through truss bridge is in the balance after it was closed off to all traffic. Again, progressives and preservations are fighting over its future.
After a nearly six-month absence due to many commitments combined with an upgrade of the Chronicles to website status, we will now open up the 2015 Mystery Bridge gallery, with our first bridge being a rather unique one located (hold your breath!)-
The United Kingdom is famous for its numerous, rather ornamental bridges- some made of steel, but many made of concrete and/or brick. This bridge, located at Lichfield Drive in Colwich, in the district of Staffordshire, is one of those examples that stand out as a unique ornamental bridge made of concrete. Once spanning a railroad line that is now a path, this bridge, according to records from English Heritage, was built in 1847. The main span is a closed spandrel elliptical arch bridge made of brick. A figure head is at the keystone of the arch span. Columns on both sides support the remaining structure with lower rounded ballustrade railings curving over the bridge from piling to piling. Rounded engraved medallions can be found on the stone blocks on the outer edge of the bridge on the deck, and sculptures can be found on the bridge’s ballustrades.
The bridge is uniqueness in design is overshadowed by the lack of information available on the structure. In particular, we do not know who built the bridge, let alone who was behind the design. England has had many engineers who left their landmarks in history, including I.K. Brunel (who built the Clifton Suspension Bridge), Sir John Fowler, who built the Firth of Forth Railroad Bridge, and Thomas Telford, who masterminded the construction of numerous railroad bridges. But we do not know who built this bridge, whether it was the aforementioned engineers or someone else.
This is where your help comes in.
If you know of the history of this unique bridge that you would like to share, please add your comments below or contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles, using the contact information in the About the Chronicles page. You can also add your comments in the Chronicles’ facebook page as it is also a platform to discuss the history of this bridge.
There is a story behind the beauty of bridges like this one, and with a little help, we can find out more about the bridge at Colwich so that it deserves the recognition of a national historic landmark. Best of luck with finding the information and may we solve the mystery of this bridge. 🙂
The author would like to thank Paul Hunt for allowing usage of the bridge.
Please click here to find out where the bridge is located. Map courtesy of Google Map.
Picking up after leaving off Part I and the Author’s Choice Awards, we now move onto the next category of Bridge of the Year 2014. Several bridges nominated for this award because of their golden anniversary celebrated this past year became disappointments in the voting stats. Among them include the Tower Bridge (which turned 120 years old), the Forth Bridges (the suspension bridge turned 50 years old) and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (which also turned 50). Yet none of the bridges stood a match against the winner of the Bridge of the Year Award- the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon in Bristol (the UK). It turned 150 years old in December and was the masterpiece of Ishambard Kingdom Brunel, who started this bridge (and his career) 30+ years earlier but died shortly before its completion. The bridge was mentioned even in the comment section when the ballot was finished and ready to vote in December. How did it do with second place Fehmarn Bridge in Germany and third place Firth of Forth Bridges? Look at the results below and see how much loving this chain suspension bridge spanning the high gorge got in the voting process:
1. Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol (UK): 67 votes (77%)
2. Fehmarn Bridge in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany): 8 votes (9%)
3. Firth of Forth Bridges in Scotland (UK): 5 votes (6%)
Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge
In the category of Best Preservation example, there was a tight race among seven candidates battling for first and second places. However in the end, the Raven Rock Bridge in Huntderton County, New Jersey edged out the Red Bridge in Kansas City and the Freedom Prime Bridge in Indiana for the award. The bridge is one of the oldest in the state and was dismantled, sandblasted and repainted before being reassembled on a new concrete decking, all during the summer. The bridge looks just like new with the railing and decking being the only differences. Impressive enough for the award. 🙂
1. Raven Rock Bridge in New Jersey 5 (26%)
2. Red Bridge in Kansas City 4 (21%)
3. Freedom Prime Bridge in Indiana 3 (16%)
Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge
There were many really good bridge candidates in this category, regardless of whether it was in the US category or the International one. That was the primary reason for the rather low voter turnout because of the difficulty in deciding which ones deserved the awards. But in the end, the winner has to be determined, right? In the US category, we have the Independence Bowstring Arch Bridge, an abandoned King Bridge Company structure that has been abandoned for many years, but after winning the award, will most likely receive some attention regarding its reuse. It edged the Fort Morgan Rainbow Arch Bridge in Colorado by three votes and two bridges by four votes to win the title.
2. Ft. Morgan Rainbow Arch Bridge in Colorado 3 votes (21%)
T 3. Backyard Bridge in Packwood, Washington and Powwow Polygonal Truss Bridge in Amesbury, Massachusetts 2 votes (14%)
In the international subcategory, the results of this award were really tight, for each candidate received at least one vote. In the end, the Monks Bridge on the British Isle of Man won the award, followed by the Pont de Langlois in France and the Swimming Bridge in Wuppertal in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Here are the results:
1. Monks Bridge on the Isle of Man in the UK- 4 votes (33%)
2. Pont de Langlois in France- 3 votes (25%)
3. Swimming Bridge in Wuppertal, Germany- 2 votes (17%)
In the all around category, the Monks Bridge finishes second behind the winner, the Independence Bowstring Arch Bridge, with the Pont de Langlois and Ft. Morgan Bridge finishing tied for third.
Best Kept Secret- City Tour Guide
The final category for the 2014 Ammann Awards is the City Tour Guide, awarded to the city and/or region with a high number of unique (historic) bridges worth visiting. Some of them have been mentioned in the Chronicles, yet other places to visit have been recommended by other websites, including some city websites. This year’s category featured a big upset in the USA category, as the historic bridges located in Bertram, Iowa (east of Cedar Rapids) upended Chicago and Pittsburgh for the title, whereas in the international category, Manchester (the UK) won the award, beating out Budapest and Sault Sainte Marie. Despite losing the Ely Street Bridge to flooding, Bertram has a wide selection of pre-1910 truss bridges located within a 10-mile radius, many of whom were built by local bridge contractors. Manchester has a wider selection of historic and modern bridges, whose designs are very appealing to the tourists. Both communities also share the title in the all around division as well, beating Chicago and third place Pittsburgh and Budapest.
1. Bertram, Iowa- 5 votes (33%)
2. Chicago- 4 votes (27%)
3. Pittsburgh- 3 votes (20%)
1. Manchester- 5 votes (42%)
2. Budapest- 3 votes (25%)
3. Sault Ste. Marie- 2 votes (17%)
T1. Bertram and Manchester
T3. Pittsburgh and Budapest
This sums up the 2014 Ammann Awards. The next time we start nominating and voting will be at the beginning of November. Please check the page on the Chronicles to find out when nominations are being accepted. In case you want to provide feedback on this voting process, please do so either in the comment section or by sending an e-mail directly to the author. Otherwise, get the cameras going and start finding some bridges worthy of this year’s results. Happy Bridgehunting and thanks for voting. 🙂
The Osborne County Hall of Fame Honors celebrates the Osborne County Sesquicentennial Year of 2021, marking the first 150 years of the county's existence. The "Honors" will present, recognize, and appreciate the various aspects of Osborne County, Kansas heritage and culture both past and present in a different manner than its parent organization, the Osborne County Hall of Fame. The series of lists that comprise the "Honors" will be revealed throughout the year on this site and via other social media. All Individuals already enshrined in the Osborne County Hall of Fame are excluded from the "Honors". Happy 150th Birthday, Osborne County!