The Bridgehunter Awards

Photo by Michau0142 Ludwiczak on

Each website and group has its own way of recognizing successes and failures. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles has its own award, known as the Bridgehunter Awards. Formerly known as the Othmar H. Ammann Awards, the awards was started in 2011 and named after an internationally known bridge engineer, who immigrated to the US from Switzerland and left his legacy for the next generations to awe in wonder. The Bridgehunter Awards replaced the Ammann Awards after the 2018 Awards and features nine categories.

Each year in October and November, nominations for the Bridgehunter Awards are collected for the following categories:


The Ralph Modjeski Lifetime Legacy Award-  given to a person who has dedicated his time and efforts into preserving historic bridges and bridge engineers who have designed bridges with very unique value for many years. The award was named after a well-known bridge engineer who later founded a world renowned bridge building company.


The Jet Lowe Best Bridge Photo Award- given to the person who took the best photo of a bridge. The top three winners will have their photos presented on the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles’ website (for 1st place) as well as its social media pages (on facebook for 2nd place and twitter for 3rd place).



Best Kept Secret Award- given to a bridge or a series of bridges in one area where little attention is given by mainstream media but deserves attention because of their historic value, unique design, and its poster boy example of how other bridges can be preserved and maintained. The category is divided up into two subcategories:


The Othmar H. Ammann Tour Guide Award, which is awarded to cities and regions with a high concentration of historic bridges ranging from a city with many historic bridges, like Lübeck (Germany), to those along a bike trail, such as the Delphi Bike Trail in Indiana, to counties like Caroll County, Indiana.


The James Baughn Individual Award which is given to individual historic bridges  whose history and unique value was not known to man until now, like the Danville Bowstring Arch Bridge in Arkansas or the West Auburn Bridge in Iowa.



Mystery Bridge Award- given to the bridge with little or no information about it, but its design and aesthetic value makes it worth a nomination, serving as an incentive to encourage people to do more research on the bridge.


The Eric N. Delony Award for Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge is given to a group who successfully saved and restored a historic bridge that is now being reused for future purposes. This applies to a bridge that has been restored as well as one that is currently being restored. This award was named in honor and memory of Mr. Delony (1944-2018), who devoted more than 40 years of his life to restoring historic bridges in the US. Yet this award applies for not only American bridges but also those on the international stage.


Bridge of the Year Award- given to the bridge which has received national and international attention over the course of the year.


With the exception of the Lifetime Legacy and Best Snapshot Awards, the candidates are selected and voted in two categories: one for bridges in the US and one for the International aspect. .

The nominated bridges and pontists are voted by the public in December with the winners announced in January in the Chronicles as well as other bridge websites and news sources where the winners are located.  The Awards are in connection with November being National Historic Bridge Month.


Furthermore, the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles has the Author’s Choice  Awards where the author (Jason Smith) chooses his picks based on the collection of news articles and photos throughout the year. They include the categories of:

Best and Worst Examples of Historic Bridge Reuse

The Salvageable Mentioned

The Best Find of a Historic Bridge

and The Biggest Bonehead Storya story of how a person destroys a historic bridge through carelessness, ignorance and stupidity


The nominations are given in two categories: the historic bridges in the USA and the historic bridges on an international scale. The winners of the previous Ammann Awards can be found here:


2012 plus a tribute to Howard Newlon

2013 plus a tribute to James Hippen



2016 plus a tribute to Eric Delony


2018 including its podcast

2019 including  podcast and a tribute to John F. Graham

2020 including a podcast and a tribute to James Baughn



2021 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Bridgehunter Awards. At the same time, the Chronicles is paying tribute to James Baughn, founder of, who died while hiking on December 6th, 2020.  To mark the occasion and pay tribute for his work, entries are being taken between now and December 1st, 2021 for the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards. Already a new category has been renamed in his memory- the Best Kept Secret Individual Awards has been changed to the James Baughn Individual Bridge Awards.

The categories will be the same, but there will be three new ones for the 2020: Best Bridge Book/ Literary Genre and Tour Guide of Lost Bridges. For the former, it has to do with bridge books and other literature (also written by the entrant him-/herself) and regardless of which language it is written in. For the latter it’s a tour guide of areas (cities, counties, historic highways) where historic bridges used to be abundant but they are now (at least close to) extinct. 

The third one is a reincarnation of the awards presented by James Baughn entitled the Endangered Truss Award, nominated to a historic bridge which has high historical value but is threatened with demolition and replacement. The awards will be given to each bridge that is threatened with the purpose of bringing this to the attention of the public.

Nominations for the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards will  end on 1 December. Voting will proceed right after the closing of the nominations, ending on January 21, 2022. Winners will be announced on January 22nd.  If you have a bridge, bridge book or person that deserves to be recognized for either the Ammann Awards or the Best/Worst Pics, please contact Jason D. Smith, using the following contact form below:

For photos, please send them directly via e-mail to Only photos in JPEG (up to 1 MB) and PNG are acceptable. Links to photo websites are accepted. For further photo inquiries, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles, directly. Thank you for your help.

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