BHC Newsflyer: 13 March 2020


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East Trent Bridge in Spokane, WA to be replaced
Commercial Street Bridge in Pittsburgh to be replaced; Frazier Street Bridge as next in line
Ohder Railroad Bridge in Wuppertal, Germany restored
Henley Bridge in Solingen, Germany to be replaced after 20 years
Garden Bridge in Preston, England?
Frank J. Wood Bridge in Maine in Preservation Magazine
Lichfield Iron Bridge to be restored
Okoboji Truss Bridge at new home
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2014 Ammann Awards: Results Part Two

Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, UK. Photo taken by Laura Hilton

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%)

Raven Rock Bridge in New Jersey. Photo taken by Nathan Holth

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%)

Monk’s Bridge at Ballasalla, Isle of Man, UK Photo submitted by Liz Boakes

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.


1. Independence Bowstring Arch Bridge 6 votes (43%)

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.

Ely Stret Bridge in Bertram


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

2. Chicago

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. 🙂

Muengsten Viaduct near Solingen, Germany: Extensive Renovation Underway

Photo taken by Herrad Elisabeth Taubenheim in 2009; used with permission

At 465 meters long and 107 meters high, the Muengsten Viaduct, located in the vicinity of Wuppertal in central North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany has been, since its opening in 1897, the highest bridge built in Germany.  Spanning the steep Wupper River near the village of Muengsten, the steel deck arch bridge was built in three years’ time under the direction of Anton von Rieppel, who was a industrialist working for the company “Maschinefabrik Augsburg Nuremberg” (now known today as MAN AG), and was responsible for the invention of an elevated street car (Rieppel Traeger) that is supported by horizontal beams above the car, and was eventually used for the Schwebebahn routes in neighboring Wuppertal as well as in Dresden in eastern Saxony. Originally used for passenger railway service between Remscheid and Solingen, it future is in doubt as concerns involving its structural weaknesses, which had originally resulted in the reduction of speed to only 10 km/h for all trains, has now resulted in no trains crossing the bridge until the problems are corrected. Since November of last year, the viaduct was closed to all rail traffic, forcing passengers to find alternatives by bus and the German railway company (Die Bahn) to find detours to carry its freight over the Wupper.

Attempts of allowing trains to cross the viaduct have failed to bear fruit. Even though Die Bahn filed for permission by the Office of Railways (EBA) to allow trains weighing up to 69.9 tons to cross the bridge, it only applied to empty trains. To allow train and passengers to cross the viaduct would require a weight limit of at least 81 tons. In the end, the EBA agreed to allow only trains of up to 72 tons with a 10-ton axel load to cross the structure. Unfortunately, recent events at the beginning of this week may force the bridge to be closed permanently if the problems are not resolved as soon as possible. Attempts to cross the bridge using empty rail cars failed due to too much weight from the axel. The end result is that the weight limit will have to be reconfigured by Die Bahn, and the bridge will have to be strengthened so that the guidelines by the EBA are met.

The Muengsten Viaduct has been considered historically significant by the German Heritage Laws (Denkmalschutzgesetz) and is the focus of a massive rehabilitation effort to be carried out over the next five years at the cost of over $30 million. When it is completed by 2016, it will be able to serve rail traffic both ways on a regular basis for the next 30 years. In the meantime, passengers travelling between Remscheid and Solingen will have to resort to bus service until the EBA allows trains to partially use the bridge until the renovation is completed. The question is: how long will the complications last. The answer is unknown at the moment, except that it lies with the EBA and Die Bahn.


Note: At the bottom of the valley underneath the viaduct, a park was constructed in 2006 commemorating the historic structure. A transporter ferry, attached to the arch superstructure, can carry passengers across the Wupper.  The Muengsten Viaduct was originally christened the Kaiser Wilhelm I Bridge, the name that was used until it was replaced with the present name in 1918, the same time as the end of World War I. Kaiser Wilhelm I. was the first emperor of Germany when the country was created in 1871. His son Wilhelm II. took over at the time of his father’s death in 1888 and led the country until its defeat in the war 30 years later.


Thanks to Herrad Elisabeth Taubenheim for allowing the use of the photo for the article.