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.
FINAL RESULTS USA CATEGORY:
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
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.