Robert (Bob) Frame III elected overwhelmingly for Lifetime Achievement; same result for Riverside Bridge (Ozark, Missouri) for Best Preservation Example. Halle (Saale) and Flensburg (Germany) numbers one and two respectively for Mystery Bridge.
Run-off vote for Spectacular Bridge Vote underway. Results expected on Friday.
For this year’s Ammann Awards, presented by the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles, there is a first for everything. While 45-50 voters participated in this year’s voting (which included some casting their vote for one category only, and canceled out the voting scheme on the ballot) we had a pair of deadline extensions- one due to the Arctic Blast which kept people from voting due to blocked roads and power outages and another due to multiple ties for first place in four categories, and now a run-off election for one category.
But despite the complications, one of the unique themes of the election is how people in general (not just the pontists and bridge experts) weighed in their support for their candidates in droves, making the elections a nail-biter to the very end. It shows that people appreciate their bridges and the preservation efforts that accompany them. How exciting was the voting? Let’s have a look at the results for their respective categories.
When I contacted him for the first time over seven years ago regarding inquiries about some bridges in Minnesota, my homestate, I got more than I bargained for when he provided me with an encyclopedia’s worth. But through his work, several historic bridges in Minnesota and other states have been preserved with more yet to come, including the Dodd Ford Bridge near Amboy in Blue Earth County. Robert (Bob) Frame III capped off his successful 40+ year career by winning the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work- but by an overwhelming majority, outracing his distant competitors, Nels Raynor and Bill Moellering. An interview with him will follow later on in the year in the Chronicles, which I’ll find out more about his passion for historic bridges and how it bore fruit careerwise, as a senior historian at Mead & Hunt, a post he still holds at present.
Robert Frame III 18
Nels Raynor 7 Raynor engineered successful preservation efforts in Texas, Kansas and Iowa (among others) and is spearheading efforts to save the Bunker Mill Brudge
Bill Moellering 5 36 years of success as county engineer and preservationist for Fayette County brought him an award for the county in another category and better chances of integrating the historic bridges into a tourist attraction.
Other participants: Friends of the Aldrich Change Bridge (4) and James Stewart (2)
Bridge of the Year:
Spanning the creek bearing the bridge’s name, this 1932 concrete deck arch structure is one of the tallest in the world, the most photographed by tourists because of its aesthetic nature and one of the most widely used bridge for American culture, as it was used in several Hollywood films, and it is even on a US Stamp. Now it earns another title, which is the 2013 Bridge of the Year Award, despite winning by a narrowest of margins. The bridge: The Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, in Monterrey County, California, located along the original US 101 (now called CA Hwy. 1), which has many bridges of this caliber between Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. But not as popular as this bridge.
Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur 12
Hastings Arch Bridge in Minnesota 11 Spanning the Mississippi River, the 1951 steel through arch bridge (known as Big Blue) was built at the site of the Hastings Spiral Bridge. Now Big Red, the largest tied arch bridge in North America has taken over in hopes it can outlive Big Blue.
Wells Street Bridge in Chicago 7 This deck truss bascule bridge, built in 1922 was the focus of a major unprecedented habilitation project last year, as the trusses were replaced with duplicate ones keeping the historic integrity in tact.
Other votes: Vizcaya Bridge in Spain (6), Rendsburg High Bridge in Germany (5), Petit Jean Bridge in Arkansas (4) and Prestressed Concrete Bridge near Cologne (Germany) (3)
In its inaugural year, the category Mystery Bridge had not only a winner and a second place finisher in its own territory, but overall. The Hafenbahn Bridge in Halle (Saale) in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt has a unique design, a unique history in connection with politics, but an unknown history as to who constructed this structure in 1884, which has survived two World Wars and the Cold War era nearly unscathed. That bridge received 12 votes, four more than its second place finisher, the Angelbuger Bridge in Flensburg (located at the Danish border), the bridge whose abutment used to house a bike shop, a comic store and a used goods shop. It shares second place with the winner in the US category, the Chaska Swing Bridge, which also received 8 votes. Also known as the Dan Patch Swing Bridge, it is the last bridge of its kind along the Minnesota River, which used to be laden with these bridge types, as it served as a key waterway linking Minneapolis and Winnipeg via Ortonville, Fargo and Grand Forks. The bridge is seldomly used and there’s hope that it will one day be a bike trail bridge.
Dan Patch Swing Bridge in Minnesota 8
Dinkey Creek Wooden Parker Truss Bridge in California 7
V-laced truss bridges in Iowa 5
Hafenbahn Bridge in Halle (Saale), Germany 12
Angelburger Bike Shop Bridge in Flensburg, Germany 8
Schleswig Strasse Bridge in Flensburg, Germany 1
Hafenbahn Bridge in Halle (Saale) 12
Angelburger Bike Shop Bridge in Flensburg and
Dan Patch Swing Bridge 8
Dinkey Creek Bridge in California 7
Best Preservation Example:
It took three years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, thousands of hours of volunteer work and effort by thousands of people with direct ties to this 1909 Canton Bridge Company structure, plus a Historic Bridge Weekend event not to mention lots of politicking and clarification of the laws. But it all paid off as the Riverside Bridge, spanning Finley Creek in Ozark, Missouri, located east of Springfield, was rehabilitated and reopened to traffic in August 2013. The group was informed yesterday that it has been awarded the Preservation Missouri Award for its work. The Ammann Award for Best Preservation Practice, awarded on the international scale has put the cherry on top of a cake that took so long to make, thanks to the people for their efforts, esp. as the bridge won by a smashing majority!
Best Preservation Practice:
Riverside Bridge in Ozark, Missouri 19
North Bennington Bridge in Vermont 7 A set of Moseley Arch trusses were found along the road- dismantled after service. It was reassembled and now, it’s a bridge again.
Big Four Railroad Bridge in Kentucky 6 45 years out of service, the City of Louisville put the Ohio River crossing back into service as a pedestrian bridge.
Other votes: Cremery Bridge in Kansas (6), Petit Jean Bridge (5), Wells Street Bridge in Chicago (5), The Bridges of Robertson County, Texas (5), Checkered House Bridge in Vermont (2), Moose Brook Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio (1) and Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma, Washington (1)
More results of the Ammann Awards are found in Part II. To be continued……