News en-us Lincoln Highway Bridge Fund Exceeds Goal Sat, 05 Jan 2019 00:00:00 PST The Toledo <em>Chronicle</em> and Tama <em>News-Herald</em> reported on January 5, 2019 that the Lincoln Savings Bank donated $3,000 to the City of Tama toward the fund drive to restore the Tama Lincoln Highway Bridge. The fund is now over the $12,000 goal for local contributions to the restoration fund. Grants and funding from the city will pay for the engineering and restoration of the bridge. <p> Link: <a href="" target="_blank">Lincoln Highway Bridge restoration fund tops goal</a>. 2018 Ammann Awards Voting Underway Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 PST After many last minute entries, plus the time to put them on the Ballot, the time has come to vote for your favorite bridges and People in this year's Ammann Awards, by the Bridgehunter's Chronicles. Between now and 7th January, 2019 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time, you have a chance to click on your favorite bridges and submit them. The procedure is the same as every year, just a couple changes to pay attention to. The Ballot and Information are here: <p> <a href=""></a> <p> Good luck with the voting and feel free to get the word out to encourage others to vote. Your Bridge matters! :-) 2018 Othmar H. Ammann Awards Underway Tue, 09 Oct 2018 00:00:00 PST 2018 has presented itself with many surprises in all aspects. In particular with bridgehunting and bridge photography, where readers, followers and enthusiasts have been awed by many historic bridges abandoned for many years until discovered most recently, communities where historic bridges that are little mentioned are getting recognition, and historic bridges that are the spotlight for photographers and preservationists who worked successfully to breathe new life into them. <p> And with that, the 2018 Othmar H. Ammann is now open to business. Between now and December 3rd, the Bridgehunter's Chronicles is now accepting entries of (historic) bridges and people who have worked to save them for reuse. Named after the Swiss bridge engineer who left his mark in bridge building in New York and the surrounding area, the Award is given out, both on the national and international levels in te following categories: <p> Best Bridge Photo <p> Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge <p> Lifetime Achievement (including post mortem) <p> Tour Guide- Communities, Counties, Districts with a high number of historic and fancy modern bridges <p> Best Kept Secret- Individual Bridge <p> Mystery Bridge and <p> Bridge of the Year. <p> To enter the contest, please click here: <p> <a href=""></a> <p> and you will be followed to the contact form and e-mail address where you can submit your entries. The contest is open for all people, but please pay attention to the guidelines for Best Bridge Photo. If you have any questions, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles. <p> Good luck and may the bridgehunting bring you the best bridges deserving the best recognition. Operation Bridge Rescue Wed, 03 Oct 2018 00:00:00 PST The popular PBS series, NOVA, documented the rebuilding of the Blenheim Covered Bridge, an 1855 structure that was washed washed away by Hurricane Irene in 2011. A replacement bridge, a replica of the original, was built over 2017-2018. This television show documented the rebuilding. <p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p> If you missed it on PBS, you can watch it on their website: <p> <a href=""></a> <p> Appleton Locks Reopen To Watercraft Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 PST The Fox River Navigation System Authority has announced that a swing bridge, previously not operational, has been repaired. The inability of the bridge to open has limited the height of watercraft that use the locks in the navigational channel. <p> Now that the bridge is operational, the navigation channel is open to all Fox River watercraft that able to lock through Appleton. <p> <a href=""> <img src="" border="0" WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=280></a><br> <em>Photo by Fox River Navigation System Authority</em>. Bad news about Google Maps Sun, 06 May 2018 00:00:00 PST Google has announced that they are "streamlining" their tools for embedding maps and Street View imagery on websites. Once you get past all of the buzzwords in <a href="">their announcement</a>, this represents a <b>massive</b> price increase in their services starting June 11. <p> Some back-of-the-envelope calculations show that,, and would be on the hook for $19,000 per year at current usage under the <a href="">new pricing regime</a>. <p> To mitigate this, I've immediately switched all three sites to use the "Embed" version of Google Maps which will remain free (at least for now). Unfortunately, this version is a definite downgrade: it does not offer Terrain view, the default zoom level always seems to be too close, part of the map is obscured by an overlay that can't be removed, and Google reserves the right to place advertisements within it. <p> The county maps, Exhibit maps, and editor tools require more advanced services that will cost $7 per 1,000 uses. Google is offering $200 per month credit, but it's possible that we'll blow past that limit even with the changes I've made. We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it, so to speak. <p> I have been working on building my own mapping engine, although it's not quite ready to launch. You can try it out at <a href=""><b></b></a>. But keep in mind, as the front page warns, "Things will break. And how!" <p> I'd love to eliminate the dependency on Google services entirely, but right now Street View imagery is simply too helpful to leave behind. But that might become necessary if Google keeps "streamlining" their services with more price increases. Important programming note Sun, 01 Apr 2018 00:00:00 PST In order to get a handle on the rising costs of hosting this website and its 300,000 photos, I've reluctantly been forced to start charging for certain features. Starting later this month, the following fee schedule will go into effect: <p> <b>À la carte pricing</b> <p> <ul><li>Site access: 1 cent per bridge page visited (first 10 pages are free) <li>Photo uploads: 10 cents to upload a single photo of an historic bridge <li>Photo uploads of UCEBs: $9.95 per photo fee to upload photos of mundane ugly bridges <li>Adding pages: 10 cents per new bridge page added <li>Duplicate page fee: $24.95 fee charged if a new page duplicates an existing page <li>Answers to questions: $2.00 per question asked <li>Correct answers to questions: $5.00 per correct answer</ul> <p> <b>Discount packages</b> <p> <ul><li>Steel Rivet Package: Provides access to 250 bridge pages, $1.00 <li>Golden Spike Package: Unlimited access(*) to all bridge pages for one month, $4.95/month <li>Pro Package: Ability to upload 250 photos, $9.95 <li>Bridge Addict Package: Ability to upload 10,000 photos, $39.95 <li>Mega Smoot Jumbo Deluxe Pro Platinum Enhanced Unlimited Package With Sprinkles: Unlimited(*) use of all site features, $19.95 per month</ul> <p> (*) Unlimited access speeds may be throttled during periods of heavy use (see AT&T for details) <p> Details on payment methods will be announced as soon as they are finalized by Ms. Lirpa Sloof, the new business manager for Big changes for the National Bridge Inventory Sun, 11 Feb 2018 00:00:00 PST Starting this year, the Federal Highway Administration is switching to a <a href="">new system</a> for measuring bridge conditions. It's <a href="">very simple</a>: bridges will be classified as Good, Fair, or Poor. <p> The term Functionally Obsolete has been retired, and Structurally Deficient is being redefined more narrowly so that it exactly matches the Poor condition on the new scale. <p> This seems like a good thing, as Good/Fair/Poor is much easier to explain. I'm looking forward to no longer fielding questions about the intricacies of the terms Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete. <p> The Good/Fair/Poor scale is based on the ratings for Superstructure, Substructure, and Deck, as determined during each bridge inspection. If any of these three ratings are scored as 4 (Poor) or below, then the bridge is considered Poor. If all of the ratings are at least 7 (Good), then the bridge is considered Good. Otherwise the bridge is Fair. (Culverts have a separate rating field which works the same.) <p> States will be expected to decrease the number of Poor bridges and increase the number of Good bridges, and will be <a href="">penalized</a> by FHWA if they don't make adequate progress in that direction. <p> Interestingly, the new system does not take into account NBI ratings for "Structural Appraisal" and "Waterway Adequacy Appraisal." This means that it's possible for bridges previously considered Structurally Deficient to end up as Fair (instead of Poor) on the new scale. Indeed, doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations shows that this applies to 6,815 bridges. Of these, 756 are truss bridges. <p> Likewise, the elimination of the term Functionally Obsolete also makes a difference. Of those bridges previously declared as Functionally Obsolete, 53,937 now fit into the Fair category, and 21,750 qualify for the Good category. Among both of these groups, 1,972 are truss bridges. <p> The upshot -- and we can always dream -- is that a significant number of historic bridges, particularly truss bridges, won't be quite as juicy a target for replacement. It's been frustrating to watch perfectly sound bridges being demolished simply because they were too narrow and therefore "obsolete." <p> Of course, we have no idea how this will actually play out, but perhaps this will help some historic bridges avoid the wrecking ball. State DOTs will now be "on the clock" to prevent bridges from slipping from Good to Fair to Poor, and this will hopefully spur an emphasis on preventative maintenance and rehabilitation. <p> The latest NBI dataset from 2017 does not incorporate the new Good/Fair/Poor scale. However, it's easy enough to apply the new scale, so I've updated the data shown on <a href=""></a> and here on to reflect the new system. I've retroactively applied the new scale to the archived data to make it easier to look at trends. 2017 Year In Review Sun, 31 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PST If this year could be summed up in a phrase, it would be: <em>Gravity is a harsh mistress</em>. Idiot truck drivers, arsonists, record-setting flash floods, and plain old neglect led several historic bridges to fall victim to gravity's relentless pull. <p> On the brighter side, 2017 saw the restoration of four bowstring truss bridges, all relocated to public parks where they can be enjoyed. It also brought the long-awaited completion of several bridge projects that we've been following for years, including Dodd Ford Bridge in Minnesota, War Eagle Bridge in Arkansas, and the venerable Burnside's Bridge at Antietam Battlefield in Maryland. <p> Here is a look at some of the more important developments of the year. (I apologize in advance if I've overlooked your favorite bridge project.) <p> <b>Year of bowstrings</b> <p> Four bowstring bridges from the late 1800s are now open to pedestrian traffic in their new homes in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. <p> <ul><li><a href="">Springfield Bridge</a> - The oldest known bridge in Arkansas, this 1874 King Iron Bridge Co. span has long been a high-priority for historic preservationists. This <a href="">award-winning project</a> relocated the bridge from <a href="">Cadron Creek</a> to an easily accessible location in a city park at Conway, Arkansas. <p> <li><a href="">Sandy Watkins Park/Old Augusta-Turtle Creek Bridge</a> - This ca. 1880 truss, likely built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co., was relocated from <a href="">Bracken County</a> to Henderson County, Kentucky. <p> <li><a href="">McCool's Creek Bridge</a> - This bowstring pony truss, a ca. 1869 King Iron Bridge Co. creation, had been <a href="">relocated</a> a few years ago to Carrollton, Kentuky, but it took until this summer before it was re-decked and made available for public use. <p> <li><a href="">Lisbon Bridge</a> - This 1872 Massillon Bridge Co. span has been restored, providing pedestrian access to the fairgrounds in Lisbon, Ohio.</ul> <p> <b>Bayonne Bridge progress</b> <p> With a <a href="">price tag</a> of nearly $1.7 billion, the project to raise the deck of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate taller cargo ships is likely one of the most expensive bridge rehabilitation projects ever undertaken in the United States. After a new, higher roadway deck was opened to traffic, the original lower deck was removed. This phase was completed in June, <a href="">providing 215 feet of vertical clearance</a> instead of the 155 feet of the original design by Othmar Ammann and Cass Gilbert. <p> With so many other major bridges in the New York City metro area in the process of being demolished (<a href="">Goethals</a>, <a href="">Tappan Zee</a>, <a href="">Kosciuszko</a>), at least the Port Authority decided to keep this bridge. They had <a href="">considered</a> replacing it from scratch with a new bridge or tunnel, or even demolishing the old bridge and not replacing it. <p> <b>Other successful projects</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">War Eagle Bridge</a> (Benton County, Arkansas) - This 1907 Parker through truss (with makeshift Kingpost-ish approach spans) was <a href="">rehabbed and reopened to traffic</a> in October following a two-month closure. Sitting next to a picturesque mill, the War Eagle Bridge is part of an important Arkansas tourist attraction. <p> <li><a href="">Burnside's Bridge</a> (Washington County, Maryland) - Built in 1836, this stone arch bridge played a key role in the 1862 Battle of Antietam. In April, the bridge was reopened to pedestrian traffic following a $2.2 million <a href="">restoration project</a>. <p> <li><a href="">Dodd Ford Bridge</a> (Blue Earth County, Minnesota) - This 1901 Camelback through truss was re-dedicated in June. The addition of a small roadside park, including observation deck and interpretive signage, is the cherry on top of this project. <p> <li><a href="">Broadway Avenue Minnesota River Bridge</a> (St. Peter, Nicollet County, Minnesota) - A peculiar two-span skewed Pennsylvania truss built in 1931, this state highway bridge has been <a href="">restored and reopened to traffic</a>. Although the bridge project led to major traffic headaches, the end product is a beauty, and should handle modern traffic demands for decades to come. <p> <li><a href="">Stony Brook Bridge</a> (Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey) - Built in 1792, this is New Jersey's oldest bridge open to road traffic. Following a partial collapse in 2016 from flooding, the bridge was <a href="">successfully reconstructed in 2017</a>, and now it is back to carrying traffic on US 206. <p> <li><a href="">Gospel Street Bridge</a> (Paoli, Orange County, Indiana) - It didn't take long for a lost truck driver to turn this 1880 wrought-iron through truss into a pile of twisted metal. Two years later, however, the span has been completely restored. It is expected to be officially reopened on Jan. 3, 2018, following a small delay while "headache bars" are installed -- a prudent idea for sure. <p> <li><a href="">Dodge Street Pedestrian Overpass</a> (Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska) - This steel girder bridge won a 1969 prize for "Most Beautiful Bridge" from the <a href="">American Institute of Steel Construction</a>. On the cusp of its 50th anniversary, a campaign successully raised enough funds to rehab this pedestrian/bicycle crossing above a busy highway.</ul> <p> <b>Disasters</b> <p> As mentioned before, natural and man-made disasters conspired with gravity to destroy several bridges this year: <p> <ul><li>Flash flooding <a href="">during the spring</a> across southern Missouri sent the Meramec River to new heights, completely wiping out <a href="">Bruns Bridge</a> in Franklin County, a wrought-iron Pratt truss built 1888 by the King Iron Bridge Co. <p> <li>The same rainstorm also wiped out <a href="">James Bridge</a>, a two-span pony truss in Ozark County. The force of the water flipped one of the trusses upside down. <p> <li>This was an <a href="">appalling year</a> for hurricane strikes as Harvey, Irma, and Maria ganged up on Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. The Houston area saw unbelievable rainfall amounts from Harvey, but that was just a warm-up for the catastrophe that Maria brought to Puerto Rico. In addition to the many homes destroyed, the lives lost, and the never-ending power outages, the island also saw many villages cut off from the world as a large number of critical bridges were wiped out. Puerto Rico has an interesting collection of historic bridges, especially unusual truss bridges following European rather than American-style designs, but details at this point are <a href="">rather sketchy</a> about how they fared. <p> <li>Following years of neglect, the <a href="">Dimmsville Covered Bridge</a> of Juniata County, Pennsylvania, succumbed to gravity and <a href="">collapsed</a> in April. <p> <li>In Missouri, <a href="">a completely forgotten Parker through truss</a> near Mill Spring in Wayne County collapsed in March. Somehow this bridge had escaped my notice despite being clearly visible in aerial imagery. This kind of thing makes you wonder how many other historic bridges -- forgotten, surrounded by private property -- are on the verge of succumbing to gravity's icy grip. <p> <li>As for man-made disasters, one of the "Bridges of Madison County" was destroyed by arson in April. The <a href="">Cedar Bridge</a>, itself a reconstruction of a bridge destroyed by arson in 2002, was <a href="">set fire again</a>. Three teenagers have been charged with arson in this year's burning. In December, a <a href="">grant was awarded</a> to construct version 3 of the bridge. <p> <li>Arson also struck the <a href="">Carrollton Covered Bridge</a> in Barbour County, West Virginia. <p> <li>Truck drivers lacking common sense were out in full force again this year. The <a href="">Gilliece Bridge</a> (1874 bowstring) in Winneshiek County, Iowa, collapsed after a driver attempted to cross it with a grain truck far excess of the posted 3 ton weight limit. <p> <li>In December, a farmer <a href="">attempted to drive</a> a tractor with a disc ripper attachment across the <a href="">O'Neal Bridge</a> in Boone County, Indiana. The attached farm implement was wider than the bridge, and that's not a good thing for a through truss. At <a href="">last report</a>, the wreckage of the bridge is being salvaged with the long-term intention of reconstructing it.</ul> <p> <b>Demolitions</b> <p> As with any other year, a large number of significant bridges were replaced and demolished. In no particular order: <p> <ul><li><a href="">Ironton-Russell Bridge</a>, Kentucky and Ohio (1922 cantilevered through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Savanna-Sabula Bridge</a>, Carroll County, Illinois, and Jackson County, Iowa (Cantilevered K-truss) <p> <li><a href="">Shaw Road Bridge</a>, Jones County, Iowa (1924 two-span Pratt through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Noix Creek MO 79 Bridge</a>, Pike County, Missouri (1936 unusual skewed and curved pony truss) - Demolished <p> <li><a href="">North Fabius River MO 16 Bridge</a>, Lewis County, Missouri (1930 Pratt through truss with skewed, mismatched trusses) <p> <li><a href="">Bar Mills Memorial Bridge</a>, York County, Maine (1938 continuous through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Blenheim Road Bridge</a>, Albemarle County, Virginia (1907 Pratt pony truss with tapered vertical members) <p> <li><a href="">Dandridge Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, Tennessee (1944 cantilevered through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Goethals Bridge</a>, New York City (1928 cantilevered through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Hunter Station Bridge</a>, Forest County, Pennsylvania (1934 Pratt half-through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Antlers Bridge</a>, Shasta County, California (1941 deck truss) <p> <li><a href="">Jeremiah Morrow Bridge</a>, Warren County, Ohio (1964 continuous deck truss, tallest bridge in Ohio) <p> <li><a href="">Little River Bridge</a>, McCurtain County, Oklahoma (1938 K-Parker through truss with 10 pony truss approach spans) <p> <li><a href="">Mountain Fork River Bridge</a>, McCurtain County, Oklahoma (1948 K-Parker through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Sylvan Island Bridge</a>, Rock Island County, Illinois (1901 two-span pin-connected through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Western Avenue Bridge</a>, Merrimack County, New Hampshire (1933 two-span skewed Pratt through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Lilac Bridge</a>, Merrimack County, New Hampshire (1909 three-span Pratt through truss) <p> <li><a href="">Kosciuszko Bridge</a>, New York City (1904 polygonal Warren through truss) <p> <li><a href="">J. M. Walters Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, Tennessee (1934 unusual cantilevered K-truss) <p> <li><a href="">Tappan Zee Bridge</a>, Rockland and Westchester counties, New York</ul> <p> <em>Here's to hoping for a better 2018!</em> Website redesign Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PST In the coming year, I'm looking into building a redesigned "Bridgehunter 3.0" website. Some features I'm considering: <p> <b>International expansion</b> <ul><li>Reorganize into four levels of geography: Continent... Nation... State... County (or equivalent) <li>Add support for Metric and other units <li>Upgrade database to support Unicode for showing bridge names in native languages <li>Switch to new URL structure while maintaining backward compatibility with existing bridge pages <li>Revamp list of bridge design types to handle international differences</ul> <p> <b>Mobile-friendly redesign</b> <ul><li>Redesign page templates to use grid-based layout suitable for any screen size <li>Revamp menu bar and photo viewer to work with touch screens <li>Add interactive map with "What's Here?" tool </ul> <p> <b>New editor features</b> <ul><li>More modern photo upload tool <li>Automatic check for duplicate pages when adding bridges <li>Better method of assigning categories to bridges; allow assigning categories to individual photos <li>Method to optionally apply watermarks to photos <li>Add other dimensions (like bridge height) and allow specifying the source for dimensions (NBI, field measurement, wild guess) <li>WYSIWYG editor for essays <li>Editable glossary/reference guide </ul> <p> I wanted to get everybody's feedback before venturing too far down the rabbit hole... Entries being taken for 2017 Othmar H. Ammann Awards Tue, 03 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PST With construction season winding down and a lot of success stories involving restoring historic bridges, now is the time to nominate our favorite historic bridge(s) and preservationists both here and abroad. Between now and the 3rd of December, entries are being taken for the 2017 Othmar H. Ammann Awards. As mentioned many times, there are six categories for both American as well as international bridges which you can nominate. Information on the categories and how you can enter are in the link below. <p> <a href=""></a> <p> Voting will take place during the holiday season from December 4th until 6th January, 2018 with the winners to be announced on the 12th. The ballot will be available through The Bridgehunter's Chronicles. If you have bridges that deserve to be nominated and deserve an Award, or if you have any questions, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles at: <p> <p> Happy Bridgehunting and may the nomination for the Ammann Awards begin! :-) New site features Tue, 05 Sep 2017 00:00:00 PST I took advantage of the long weekend to make a few improvements to the website: <p> <ul> <li><b>Documents</b>: I've added a new tool to upload documents to bridge pages. The documents can be in PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, GIF, PNG, TIFF, JPEG, or BMP formats (limit is 100 megabytes per file). This is primarily intended for reports and technical drawings, but could be used for lots of things. See an example <a href="">here</a>. <p> <li><b>Builders</b>: To help manage the ever-growing <a href="">list of builders</a>, people are now sorted alphabetically by last name instead of first name. When editing a builder's information, the new "Sort by" box provides a way to specify how the name should be alphabetized. <p> I haven't figured out how best to handle companies that include the name of a person (like "A. Guthrie & Co."). These kinds of names are surprisingly common, but for now I haven't touched any of them. <p> <li><b>Photo numbers</b>: Each photo now includes an ID number that can be used for identifying that particular photo in forum comments or elsewhere. <p> <li><b>Garmin POI files</b>: I've uploaded Points of Interest files that can be loaded on Garmin GPS devices. First download <a href="/misc/"></a> (6.8 MB). Included are <tt>bridges.gpi</tt> (for standing bridges) and <tt>lostbridges.gpi</tt> (for bridges that are gone). One or both of these files can be transferred to most Germin GPS devices (either by SD card or USB cable connection). More recent devices should have enough internal memory to permanently install the POIs (for older devices it may be necessary to keep an SD card around). Once loaded, going to "Extras" and then "Custom POIs" will show the bridges that are nearest to your current location (the exact menus may vary by model). <p> For non-Garmin devices, the ZIP file includes alternate <tt>bridges.gpx</tt> and <tt>lostbridges.gpx</tt> files that can be converted to other formats using <a href="">gpsbabel</a> or other software. </ul> Bridges in the path of the total eclipse Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:00:00 PST Have you procrastinated in choosing a place to enjoy the total solar eclipse? Are you nervously watching the cloud forecast and waiting until the last minute to decide? <p> If so, you may consider choosing a spot with a historic bridge in view. Here are some of the more interesting and photogenic bridges that are located within the path of Monday's celestial concealment. With the eclipse following a length of 2.36 megasmoot across the United States, there are plenty of places to choose for watching this rare stellar shrouding. <p> I apologize in advance if I overlooked your favorite span. From west to east: <p> <b>Oregon</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Depoe Bay Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Ben Jones Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Yaquina Bay Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Van Buren Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Ellsworth Street Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Mill City Trail Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Union Street Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Jacob Conser Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Crooked River Canyon Bridges</a></li> <li><a href="">Jordan Road Bridges</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Idaho</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Unity Road Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Rainbow Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Cold Springs Pegram Bridge</a> (barely)</li> <li><a href="">Conant Creek Trestle</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Wyoming</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Hoback Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Wind River Diversion Dam Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Wind River Canyon Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Thermopolis Swinging Bridge</a> (barely)</li> <li><a href="">Wyoming Heritage Trail - Wind River Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Government Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Fort Laramie Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Nebraska</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Interstate Canal Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Sutherland State Aid Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Kilgore Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Nine Bridge Road Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Wyoming Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Little Blue River Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Brownville Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Rulo Railroad Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Kansas </b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Cottonwood Creek Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Duncan Creek Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Atchison Swing Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Leavenworth Centennial Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Missouri</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">St. Joseph Swing Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Riverwalk Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Waddell "A" Truss Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Broadway Bridge</a> (barely)</li> <li><a href="">ASB Bridge</a> (barely)</li> <li><a href="">Liberty Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Polo Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Grand River Bridge</a> (barely)</li> <li><a href="">Boonville Katy Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">I-70 Rocheport Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Jefferson City Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Washington Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Meramec River MO 21 Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Windsor Harbor Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Old Appleton Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Illinois</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Chester Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Thebes Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Metropolis Railroad Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Dixon Springs Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Brookport Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Shawneetown Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Kentucky</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Cumberland River Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Smithland Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">New Eggner Ferry Bridge</a> (see <a href="">photo contest</a>)</li> <li><a href="">Lake Barkley Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">College Street Bridge</a> (barely)</li></ul> <p> <b>Tennessee</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Shelby Street Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Bob Sheehan Memorial Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Old Hickory Bridges</a></li> <li><a href="">Cordell Hull Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Hurricane Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Collins River Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Byrds Creek Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">The Loop</a> (just barely)</li></ul> <p> <b>North Carolina</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Barkers Creek Road Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Nickajack Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">McCoy Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>Georgia</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">Wells Viaduct</a></li> <li><a href="">Smith-McGee Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Blackwell Bridge</a></li></ul> <p> <b>South Carolina</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">NS - Congaree River Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Columbia Canal Bridge</a></li> <li><a href="">Ben Sawyer Bridge</a></li></ul> Summary of damage from the Midwest flash flood Sun, 07 May 2017 00:00:00 PST April showers bring... May insurance claims. That's been the case in Missouri and surrounding states as a massive rainstorm produced record flooding across a wide area. The impact on historic bridges was substantial. Here is a roundup of bridges that suffered from the flooding. <p> <h3>DESTROYED</h3> <p> <em>Three bridges were completely obliterated by the force of unprecedented flash flooding.</em> <p> <b><a href="">Bruns Bridge</a>, Franklin County, MO</b> <p> This wrought-iron Pratt through truss, built 1888 by the King Bridge Co., was a major loss. The bridge, which had been bypassed by a modern bridge in 1993, was <a href="">pushed off its abutments</a> by flash flooding on Meramec River. Video on social media shows that the truss briefly remained in one piece until it crashed into the UCEB downstream. <p> Although in theory the bridge could be salvaged -- the <a href="">bridge at Old Appleton, Missouri</a>, is proof of that -- that seems hopeless since the Franklin County commission has proven to be hostile to historic bridges. <p> At one time Franklin County had one of the premier collections of historic bridges in Missouri, but the county commission has been hell-bent in recent years in eliminating them. The <a href="">Bend Road Bridge</a>, in particular, is an ideal candidate for preservation as part of an extension of the Ozark Trail, but the commissioners are all too eager to see it bulldozed, apparently out of spite. They are also keen on demolishing a pin-connected Camelback (<a href="">Shawnee Ford Bridge</a>). With the future replacement of the <a href="">Washington Bridge</a> over the Missouri River, Franklin County will soon have only <a href="">one remaining through truss bridge</a> on its roads -- and who knows how much longer it will be allowed to remain. <p> <b><a href="">James Bridge</a>, Ozark County, MO</b> <p> Flash flooding on the North Fork White River wiped out this bridge on Route PP. One of the two pony truss spans was completely flipped over. Built in 1958, this was a very late truss bridge to be built on the Missouri state highway system, and it was notable for having two pony truss spans that were exceptionally long (190 feet). This bridge was <a href="">already slated for replacement</a>. Considered to be National Register eligible, it had been offered for adaptive reuse earlier this year but with no takers. <p> <b><a href="">Hammond Bridge</a>, Ozark County, MO</b> <p> This bridge, across North Fork White River in Ozark County, was also completely wiped out. The spans were pushed downstream a considerable distance. Built in 1975, this steel stringer bridge with concrete Jersey barriers had little historical value, but it does show that even UCEBs are susceptible to disasters. <p> A <a href="">story in Ozark County Times newspaper</a> included this amusing quote from Ozark County presiding commissioner John Turner: "Most of the old bridges are fine, the ones built in the 40s and by the WPA. But some of the newer bridges are just gone." <p> <h3>DAMAGED</h3> <p> <em>The following bridges survived but had damage to the approaches:</em> <p> <b><a href="">Little Creek Route JJ Bridge</a>, Ozark County, MO</b> <p> Although this pony truss survived the flash flood, the roadway approaching the bridge was <a href="">completely washed out</a>. Built in 1923 in Texas County and then relocated here in 1956, this bridge had been offered for adaptive reuse with no takers, and was already scheduled for replacement this summer. <p> <b><a href="">Old US 66 Gasconade River Bridge</a>, Laclede County, MO</b> <p> The Gasconade River shattered the record as it crested here at 40.08 feet, over 5 feet above the previous record of 34.92 feet set in 2008. Floodwaters covered the eastern span of the bridge and damaged the asphalt pavement on the east approach. The fast-moving water also stripped the pavement on a portion of adjacent Interstate 44. <p> Although the historic 1924 bridge seems to have survived intact, the flooding is certainly bad news for the structure's deteriorating condition. MoDOT intends to build a bridge on a new alignment with the option for a responsible party to take over the old bridge for pedestrian use. <p> <b><a href="">Devils Elbow Bridge</a>, Pulaski County, MO</b> <p> The Big Piney River also shattered records, sending floodwaters over the deck of another Route 66 bridge: the through truss at Devils Elbow. Thankfully this bridge was restored in recent years, putting it in a better position to withstand the floodwaters that washed across the deck. Like at the Gasconade, the pavement approaching this bridge was damaged. <p> The village of Devils Elbow suffered <a href="">severe damage</a> as some buildings were washed away, and the Elbow Inn (located next to the bridge) was inundated by five feet of water. <p> <b><a href="">Jerome Railroad Bridge</a>, Phelps County, MO</b> <p> This through truss bridge over the Gasconade River between Jerome and Arlington withstood the flood, but the approaches were washed out, and huge piles of debris were left on the deck. <p> <b><a href="">Burfordville Covered Bridge</a>, Cape Girardeau County, MO</b> <p> A flash flood on Whitewater River damaged the asphalt on the east approach. This is a fairly typical occurence here, however. <p> <h3>UNDAMAGED</h3> <p> <b><a href="">Old Appleton Bridge</a>, Cape Girardeau/Perry counties, MO</b> <p> The Old Appleton Bridge, a wrought-iron 1879 Pratt through truss, was wiped out by a flash flood in 1982 and then rebuilt years later using a majority of original material. Thankfully, when the bridge was restored, it was raised to a higher elevation to prevent another flash flood disaster. This time, the raging waters of Apple Creek just barely reached the bridge, but didn't cause any damage. <p> <b><a href="">Halsey Bridge</a>, Union/jackson counties, IL</b> <p> Traffic on the Union Pacific Railroad continued even as the Big Muddy River reached the lower chord of this through truss. <p> <h3>INUNDATED</h3> <p> <em>These bridges along the Mississippi River have been flooded by backwater, but this occurs regularly when the river is high. Although backwater doesn't move with nearly as much force as flash flooding, the toxic soup found in floodwaters could lead to long-term deterioration.</em> <p> <b><a href="">Windsor Harbor Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, MO</b> <p> <b><a href="">Joachim Creek US 61/67 Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, MO</b> <p> <b><a href="">Gale Bridge</a>, Alexander County, IL</b> <p> <h3>DAMAGE UNKNOWN</h3> <p> <em>The following historic bridges cross rivers that had record or near-record crests. Although they probably escaped unscathed, I haven't heard specifically if these bridges suffered any damage. They are all vulnerable to flooding, and in many cases photos on social media showed water reaching the bridge deck.</em> <p> <a href="">Bird's Nest Bridge</a>, Crawford County, MO - Photos posted to Facebook by <a href="">Birds Nest Lodge</a> show that the river was rushing across the northern span. <p> <a href="">Valley Park Railroad Bridge</a>, St. Louis County, MO - Drone photos show that considerable water from the Meramec River was rushing across the bridge deck, but this bridge did survive an even higher crest in December 2015. <p> <a href="">Morse Mill Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, MO - Water was rushing across the south end of the main span. <p> <a href="">Moscow Mills Bridge</a>, Lincoln County, MO - The Cuivre River reached above the bridge deck. <p> <a href="">Roubidoux Bridge</a>, Pulaski County, MO - Water came close to the tops of the arches. <p> <a href="">Galena Y Bridge</a>, Stone County, MO - The water reached nearly to the deck, almost completely inundating the arches <p> <a href="">Beaver Bridge</a>, Carroll County, AR - Water rose above the deck at the bridge's ends, although this has happened numerous times before <p> <a href="">Devils Elbow Arch Bridge</a>, Pulaski County, MO <p> <a href="">Washington State Park Bridge</a>, Washington County, MO <p> <a href="">Westphalia Bridge</a>, Osage County, MO <p> <a href="">Gascondy Bridge</a>, Osage County, MO <p> <a href="">Caplinger Mills Bridge</a>, Cedar County, MO <p> <a href="">Ozark Mill Bridge</a>, Christian County, MO <p> <a href="">Riverside Bridge</a>, Christian County, MO <p> <a href="">Hebron Bridge</a>, Douglas County, MO <p> <a href="">Riverton Bridge</a>, Oregon County, MO <p> <a href="">Eleven Point MO 19 Bridge</a>, Oregon County, MO <p> <a href="">Eleven Point MO 142 Bridge</a>, Oregon County, MO <p> <a href="">Hargrove Bridge</a>, Butler County, MO <p> <a href="">Frumet Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, MO <p> <a href="">Byrnesville Bridge</a>, Jefferson County, MO <p> <a href="">US 66 Meramec River Bridge</a>, St. Louis County, MO <p> <a href="">Old Monroe Bridge</a>, Lincoln County, MO <p> <a href="">Flat Creek MO 39 Bridge</a>, Barry County, MO <p> <a href="">Kimberling City Bridge</a>, Stone County, MO <p> <a href="">Eminence Bridge</a>, Shannon County, MO <p> <a href="">Zalma Bridge</a>, Bollinger County, MO Trucker Who Collapsed Historic Bridge Gets Jail Time Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST <a href=""><img src="" WIDTH=630 HEIGHT=354></a> <p> The truck driver who caused a historic Indiana bridge to collapse because she wasn’t sure how much six tons weighed has been sentenced to jail. <p> Indiana Judge R. Michael Cloud sentenced 24 year old truck driver Mary Lambright to the maximum sentence of 180 days behind bars. She was also ordered to pay $2000 to cover part of the costs of the bridge inspection once construction on the new structure is completed. <p> <a href=""><img src=""></a> <p> The bridge collapsed over a year ago as <a href="" target=" blank">Lambright was hauling 43,000 pounds of bottled water through Paoli, Indiana, on Christmas Day in 2015</a>. <p> Lambright told police she was headed to Walmart to park her truck but missed her exit. After making several turns, she entered a parking lot to turn her truck around to try to get back to the Walmart. The parking lot she turned into was too full for her to make the turn, so she drove onto the iron bridge that spans Lick Creek. <p> The bridge sheared the top of the trailer off while the weight of the truck collapsed the structure. Police believe that she was traveling at about 30 m.p.h. when she began crossing the bridge. <p> Lambright and her 17 year old female passenger were not injured. <p> Lambright told police that she saw signage about the bridge’s maximum 6 ton weight limit, but that she was not sure how many pounds made up 6 tons. The bridge had a no truck sign posted as well. <p> She also told police that she was uncomfortable backing her truck up, which was why she chose to drive it across the tiny bridge instead. <p> Lambright lost her job over the incident. <p> She pled guilty to charges of reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, disregarding a traffic control device, and overweight on posted bridge earlier this year. <p> <I>“I’m really, really sorry about what happened and, if I could go back and do it over again, I wouldn’t be so stupid,”</I> she told the court. <br> * * * <p> <i>Published by </i>CDL Life News<i> on April 12, 2017. Republished here with permission. See the original article at <a href="" target=" blank"></i>Trucker Who Collapsed Historic Bridge Gets Jail Time</a>. 1906 Arch Bridge Closed Without Warning Sat, 04 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST An important component of Milwaukee's historic Lake Park was closed without notice on December 9, 2016. The bridge, designed by Alfred C. Clas and George Bowman Ferry, connects the northern and southern halves of the park by spanning a deep ravine. Lake Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. It was posted to the NRHP in 1993. <p> <a href=""> <img src="" style="max-width:500px;"></a><br> <em>The historic bridge's fate is uncertain. Photo by author.</em> <p> The concrete arch bridge has been a source of concern for several years. Cracks and spalling raised concerns, leading to a structural analysis in 2015. Potential failure of the bridge prompted its closure on December 9 along with the closing of Ravine Drive, a roadway spanned by the bridge. According to County Executive Chris Abele, the bridge will be demolished if people ignore the chain link gates that block access. <p> Estimates to repair or to replace the bridge hover around $2 million, a sum not readily available. Fans of Lake Park and of the historical value of bridge are disappointed over rumors of the bridge's potential demolition. <p> The concrete arch bridge was part of a promenade that included a grand staircase (extant) allowing access to the lower portion of the park at the bottom of Lake Michigan's famous western shore bluff. There was also an athletic field and stands that were demolished decades ago. <p> <a href=""> <img src=""></a><br> <em>Ravine Drive, a popular roadway, is also closed. Photo by author.</em> We've reached a quarter million photos Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 PST has reached a new milestone: We now have a quarter million total photos! Congratulations to John Marvig for posting photo number 250,000. Famous Tama LH Bridge Damaged in a Hit-And-Run Accident Sat, 15 Oct 2016 00:00:00 PST The Tama <em>News Herald</em> Toledo <em>Chronicle</em> is reporting this morning that an early morning accident on October 11 dislodged the letter "Y" in the north railing of the Mud Creek Bridge in Tama. The letter is one of the balustrades that spell "LINCOLN HIGHWAY" on the railings of the iconic bridge. They further report that the damage may have been caused by a chrome bumper or chrome wheels because there are no paint scrapes on the letter or the railing itself. <p> Authorities say the bridge recently underwent structural analysis and they believe insurance should cover the cost of repairs. <p> The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=280 alt="Damage to Tama Bridge. Photo by John Speer, Tama News-Herald photo Tama Bridge Damage_zpsc5gxb1pd.jpg"/></a> <br><em>Photo courtesy of the </em>News-Herald<em><BR> Photo by John Speer</em>. <p> Link to original article:<br> 2016 Othmar H. Ammann Awards Underway Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 PST It's Fall time and in connection with its fifth anniversary of its existence, the 2016 Ammann Awards are underway. Between now and 1 December 2016, all entries are being taken for the categories of Best Kept Secret/ Tour Guide, Best Photo, Lifetime Achievement, Mystery Bridge and Best Example of a preserved historic bridge. All entries are welcome, even from abroad. Click here for details. <p> <a href=""></a> <p> Voting will commence in December but in two parts: <p> Part 1 will focus on the 2016 Awards candidates themselves, while Part 2 will feature the voting of all of the winners and runners-up in each category dating back to 2011, where the top six in each will be inducted into the Chronicles' Hall of Fame, a special section where every five years, six candidates will be inducted for the US as well as international. This does not apply for Lifetime Achievement as the winners are automatically inducted annually. More to come when the voting process starts. Get your cameras out, take your kids on tours and let's see some gorgeous bridges! :-) Experience and Common Sense are Key Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 PST Carelessness can come at a price, most of the time when you at least expect it. We've seen a number of stories of truckers losing their goods and their vehicles by disregarding warning signs and proceeding as planned. But why is that? Why don't truckers pay more attention to the rules of the road and bridges than on convenience? In an interview I did with Jeremy Johnson, who owns a trucking business in Marshall, MN, I had a chance to get an insight on the world of trucking from his point of view, which all boils down to two key words: experience and common sense. Using the latest story on the Gospel Street Bridge collapse as leverage, have a look at what can be done as a truck driver to avoid senseless accidents like we've seen lately. For those in the trucking industry or are wishing to enter the profession, this guide is for you to follow so you can prepare accordingly. Remember: common sense and experience are key; Comvenience and Efficiency are not! But safety trumps all profits earned on any trucking trips. Link: <a href=""></a> <p> JS Breaking News: Michigan to outlaw taking photographs of bridges without a license Fri, 01 Apr 2016 00:00:00 PST I've just received word that the governor of Michigan intends to sign a bill that will effectively outlaw taking photos of public property in the state without paying a large fee and obtaining a license. <p> Under the bill, the likeness of every government structure within Michigan -- including bridges on public roads -- will be protected by copyright, making it illegal to take photos without obtaining express written consent of a newly created state office, the Copyright Revenue Adjustment Panel. <p> According to the bill's preamble, the legislation has several goals, including: <p> <ul> <li>Protecting the children by raising extra money to shore up Michigan's terrible financial condition <li>Protecting the children by tightly controlling photos of the state's resources, enhancing the "Pure Michigan" brand and increasing tourism and jobs <li>Protecting the children by making it harder for pedophiles to capture photos of innocent children who happen to walk across public streets or bridges <li>Protecting the children by making it harder for would-be terrorists to take photos of critical infrastructure <li>Protecting the children by preventing photographers from obstructing traffic and causing accidents </ul> <p> In a press release, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Leonard "Lirpa" Sloof, explained that he got the idea after seeing a barrage of newspaper articles and TV segments using stock footage of deteriorating lead pipes in Flint. "This whole Flint water incident has been a convenient way for out-of-state media to pursue their anti-Michigan propaganda," he explained. "But then it dawned on me: we can just claim those lead pipes are government property and we should be able to control who takes photos of them." <p> He added: "It's all about the children. I don't want any anybody to whine that this violates the First Amendment. The Constitution specifically allows for enforcing copyright, and that's exactly what we're doing here." <p> is currently discussing options with legal counsel. If the law goes into effect, it will be necessary to blur all Michigan bridge photos, or remove them outright. Our legal team is also researching the possibility of relabeling all Michigan bridges as actually being located in a neighboring state, like Ohio. <p> <img src="/images/news/mightymac.jpg" style="width:500px;"><br><span style="font-size:0.9em;">The Mighty Mac Bridge of "Toledo, Ohio"</span> 2015 Ammann Awards Sat, 31 Oct 2015 00:00:00 PST November is National Historic Bridge month, and for the fifth time since its launch in 2011, The Bridgehunter's Chronicles is presenting the Othmar H. Ammann Awards in categories ranging from Best Photo, to Lifetime Achievement, to Best Example of a Preserve Historic Bridge to even a region with a very high number of HBs that exist. Again as in the past, the awards will be given to US bridges as well as those on the international scale. To learn more on how to submit your entries, please click on the link below: <a href=""></a> Entries will be taken between now and 1 December with voting to commence afterwards. <p> In addition, to commemorate the Chronicles' five-year anniversary, a special category will be added in the voting mix: The Top Five Historic Bridges one should see and The Top Five Places with a large number of historic bridges. These will be based on the top three bridge candidates that had been entered in the Ammann Awards per year since its launch in 2011. They will be added to the voting ballot. <p> For further questions or to submit your entry for the Ammann Awards, please contact Jason Smith either by using the contact form below: <p> <a href=""></a> <p> or directly via e-mail. Enjoy the new website that has been relaunched recently and may we have some cool pics and interesting bridge entries coming our way. Happy Bridgehunting! Full Throttle Saloon Fire Tue, 08 Sep 2015 00:00:00 PST STURGIS- The state fire marshal is investigating a fire that destroyed the Full Throttle Saloon, located east of Sturgis, South Dakota, which happened early this morning. The fire department was called in at 12:30am to battle the blaze that started inside the world's largest biker bar, only to retreat because of heat and smoke. Three hours later, the building was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately the fire severely damaged two historic bridges located on either side of the building complex. More information on the fire, the history of the HBs relocated to the site in 2008, and pictures of the saloon after the fire can be found here: <a href=""></a> More will be revealed in the coming weeks as to whether the building complex and the historic bridges will be rebuilt. Server upgrade Sat, 04 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PST I'm going to be doing a server upgrade on both and during the July 4th weekend. If you see anything broken, please let me know at <p> I-75 Bridge Collapse in Cincinnati; 1 Dead 1 Injured Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 PST The Cincinnati <em>Enquirer</em> reports that on January 19, 2015, a bridge over I-75 collapsed about 10:30 PM in Camp Washington near Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the report, 1 construction worker is confirmed dead, a semi-truck driver was injured. The catastrophic pancake collapse happened on the old northbound exit ramp to Hopple Street, which was being prepared for demolition at the time of the collapse. The replacement bridge is already open. <p> <a href=""><img src="" border="0" alt="I-75 Bridge Collpase"></a> <p> <em>Photo: Cincinnati Fire Department</em> <p> The semi-driver was injured when his rig collided with the rubble. Had he been a few seconds earlier, the results might have been quite different. <p> "What appears to have happened is, in essence, an industrial incident – a workplace incident with respect to a construction crew that's doing work out here," city manager Harry Black said. "Something went wrong, and a tragedy has occurred as a result. ... We don't believe that there is any additional loss of life." <p> City officials expect the highway to be closed for at least 48 hours while the investigation and cleanup takes place. <p> (Sources: Cincinnati <em>Enquirer</em>, WHIO News, various wire services) 2014 Othmar H. Ammann Awards Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 PST Yes sir, it's that time of year again. In connection with National Historic Bridge Month in November, the Bridgehunter's Chronicles is once again hosting the fifth annual Othmar H. Ammann Awards. Between now and December 1st, entries are being taken for the Ammann Awards in the categories of Best Photo, Best Kept Secret in the fields of individual bridges found and tour guides- cities/regions with a high number of historic bridges, Lifetime Achievement, Mystery Bridge and Bridge of the Year. More information on the Ammann Awards and where you can send your entries can be found here: <a href=""></a> Voting will take place beginning December 3rd, with the winners to be announced in January. More information on the voting scheme to come in the Chronicles very soon. If you have a bridge or a pontist that deserves accolades for all that has been done, then let's give them the recognition needed. Happy hunting and submitting. Various website improvements Sun, 06 Jul 2014 00:00:00 PST As we recover from the Independence Day weekend, I've added these website features: <p> <ul> <li><b>Draft mode while adding bridges</b>: When creating a new bridge, you have the option of leaving the page as a draft so that it won't be visible to the public or appear on the Updates list. You can continue to make edits to the page, and then publish it when you are ready. <p> <li><b>"My Stuff" page</b>: Since draft bridges won't appear on the site, I've added an admin page that shows the bridges that you've created, even if they are still in draft mode. If you lose track of a bridge, you can find it here and publish it. Click the "My Stuff" link in the black bar at the top of every page (this was formerly labeled "My Photos") and then click "My Bridges". <p> <li><b>Improvements to the Updates list</b>: When adding or editing a bridge, you have the option of specifying what note should appear on the main Updates page. You can also skip adding an update by leaving the "Update log" box blank. <p> <li><b>Quadrangle maps</b>: Both and now provide easier access to USGS quadrangle maps, which can be quite helpful for finding obscure locations. Most bridge and landmark pages now link to a page showing information about the relevant quadrangle map. From there, you can download the PDFs from the USGS website, jump to quadrangles at different scales, or browse adjoining quads. On, you can also see the quads that cover a particular county: first go to the county's main page and then click "Quadrangles." </ul> <p> As always, these changes may have introduced weird bugs. Please let me know if something is out of whack. Final list of TRUSS Award winners for 2014 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PST Choosing the Top-Ranked Unique Savable Structures for this year has been harder than ever. In addition to those bridges facing demolition and replacement with UCEBs -- some things never change -- this year's nominations also focused on abandoned bridges that are intact but could soon collapse or deteriorate beyond the point of repair. <p> <big><em>In no particular order, here are the 2014 TRUSS Award winners:</em></big> <p> <big><b><a href="">Asylum Bridge</a> (Osawatomie, Miami County, Kansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Joshua Collins <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Despite having the appearance of a cantilever, this unique bridge has been classified as a "Reverse Parker", or a Parker truss where the top chord swoops downward instead of up. Built in 1905 by the Kansas City Bridge Co., it's unclear why this peculiar design was chosen, especially with a relatively short main span (120 feet) which could have easily accommodated a simple Pratt truss. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is the only known bridge of its type in the U.S., making this a no-brainer for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The Asylum Bridge has remained abandoned for some years. Photos suggest that the stone piers are deteriorating, which could jeopardize the bridge. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Miami County has an excellent collection of historic bridges, especially around <a href="">Osawatomie</a>. Last year, the nearby <a href="">Creamery Bridge</a> was rehabilitated, and comments in the newspaper suggest that the county commissioners understand the value of historic bridges. If the Asylum Bridge were to be repaired and reopened to pedestrians, Miami County will be sitting pretty. <p> <big><b><a href="">Republican River U.P. Crossing Bridge</a> (Cloud County, Kansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Robert Elder <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Built for the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1894, this bridge features three pin-connected Pratt through trusses. Despite its location near the more famous Republican River Pegram Truss, this bridge has remained overlooked. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is one of a tiny population of truss bridges attributed to the Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Although the bridge appears structurally sound, it is abandoned and overgrown. Similar bridges have been dismantled in the past for scrap value with little or no warning. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Designed to support locomotives, the superstructure on this bridge is likely sound enough to handle pedestrians. With a new deck and railings, this bridge could be reopened for pedestrian use, making it a perfect companion for the nearby Pegram Truss bridge. <p> <big><b><a href="">Aulwurm Drive Bridge</a> (Cook County, Illinois)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Roger Deschner <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Nicknamed the "Blue Bridge", this was built as a four-span Warren pony truss, but one of the spans has collapsed and the other three are in appalling condition due to deterioration and visits from metal thieves. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is a rare example of a multi-span pony truss bridge of any kind in the Chicago area. <p> <em>The situation:</em> It seems likely that the remaining spans will eventually collapse under their own weight without repairs. <p> <em>The plan:</em> A report from 2012, the <a href="">Blue Island Active Transportation Plan</a>, advocates the possibility (p. 33) of restoring the bridge for bicycle/pedestrian access to Jackson Street on the south side. It notes, "Jackson Street is closed westbound at Ashland Avenue, yet Calumet Township continues to collect tax for its maintenance. The township can return value to Blue Island residents by paying for reopening of Jackson Street as a nonmotorized route and participating in the reconstruction of the Blue Bridge as a bicycle and pedestrian crossing." <p> <big><b><a href="">Mosquito Road Bridge</a> (El Dorado County, California)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Craig Philpott <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Located at a scenic stretch of the South Fork American River, this one-lane suspension bridge was built in 1939. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Featuring timber floor beams, stringers, and deck, this bridge more closely resembles a rustic 1800s-era bridge than something from the 1930s. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Sitting in the middle of a sharp S-curve and having a deck width of only 9 feet, local officials have wanted to replace the bridge for many years. According to the <a href="">official project website</a>, however, no decision has been made. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Mosquito Road near the bridge features sharp switchbacks, so it seems likely that a replacement bridge would be built at a high level over the canyon to eliminate these curves. If indeed the new bridge is built on a different alignment, it should be feasible to keep the old bridge in place for pedestrian use (or even light traffic) to enjoy this scenic location. <p> <big><b><a href="">Savanna-Sabula Bridge</a> (Carroll County, Illinois, and Jackson County, Iowa)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a large cantilever through truss over the Mississippi River featuring a partial K-truss design. It was opened to traffic on the last day of 1932. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Cantilevered trusses as well as K-trusses are both rapidly disappearing. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Construction on a replacement bridge is slated to begin 2015. The Illinois Department of Transportation offered the old bridge for adaptive reuse, but with ridiculous strings attached -- it must be completely removed within 30 days and then reassembled and maintained forever. Such a short time frame to carefully dismantle this massive bridge is virtually impossible, and would represent a truly remarkable feat in the history of civil engineering. <p> <em>The plan:</em> This bridge received the most nominations of any other bridge, but it's going to require a very well-organized campaign to have any hope of saving this one. <p> <big><b><a href="">Fort Atkinson Bridge</a> (Winneshiek County, Iowa)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Jason Smith <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Built in 1892 by D.H. Young of Manchester, Iowa, this Pratt through truss features elaborate decorations above the portals. <p> <em>The significance:</em> The Iowa Historic Bridge Inventory reports that this NRHP-listed bridge is distinguished "for its relatively early erection date, well-preserved condition and the decorative iron cresting on its portals." This is a rare remaining work of D.H. Young, a civil engineer and bridge builder who <a href="">later became</a> a state representative and senator. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge was closed to traffic in March 2013 after failing an inspection due to "corrosion of bridge materials." Plans are underway to replace the bridge. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Sitting next to a city park, it makes sense to build a replacement bridge on a new alignment and leave the historic bridge in place for pedestrian use. <p> <big><b><a href="">Clear Creek Bridge</a> (Shelby County, Kentucky)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> James McCray <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is an authentic 90-ft Bailey truss relocated from an unknown location, perhaps in 1982, and set on existing stone piers. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Although the exact history of this span remains a mystery, the bridge is marked with the names of two British companies: Thos. Storey Engineers Ltd of Manchester (shown by patent plaque) and Appleby-Frodingham Steel Co. of Lincolnshire (steel brand). This strongly implies that the structure was imported from England as World War II era surplus. The British plaques make this an exceptionally rare bridge. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge is closed to all traffic with a barricade at one end and a chain-link fence at the other. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Bailey bridges were intended to be portable, and that feature would come in handy if a new home can be found for this structure. <p> <big><b><a href="">Bridge Theater</a> (Washington County, New York)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Jack Schmidt <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This bridge spans Lock 12 of the Champlain Canal at Whitehall, New York. It is a double-intersection Warren through truss built in 1911. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Although historic in its own right, this bridge is also notable for how it was used in modern times: as a performing arts center. When the bridge was closed to traffic in 1999, civic leaders spearheaded the ingenious idea of converting it into a theater. An enclosure was built inside the trusses, providing seating capacity for 60 people. This unique venue operated until 2009, when the bridge failed inspection and was <a href="">completely shut down</a>. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The theater enclosure has been removed and the bridge is in danger of demolition. <p> <em>The plan:</em> It may take another ingenious idea, but hopefully this bridge can be preserved in place. It would be a shame to lose it now after all that was done to save it the first time. <p> <big><b><a href="">Ferry Street Bridge</a> (Columbia County, New York)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> CANALLER <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Built in 1905 to span a rail line along the Hudson River, this double-intersection Warren pony truss features three truss webs and a double-barreled roadway. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Although several double-barreled through trusses remain in use across the country, this is one of the only -- if not <b>the</b> only -- extant pony truss with this configuration. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The weight limit was <a href="">recently reduced to 3 tons</a>, putting it on the verge of being closed entirely. Ferry Street provides one of only two entrances to the waterfront (the other is an at-grade rail crossing), so this is an important bridge. Ownership of the bridge is in the process of being transferred from CSX to Amtrak, but local officials want the city to take over the bridge and replace it, calling the project a <a href="">top priority</a>. <p> <em>The plan:</em> The city has had trouble obtaining funding to replace the bridge, so they may not have any choice but to repair, instead of demolish, the bridge. <p> <big><b><a href="">White River MO 76 Bridge</a> (Taney County, Missouri)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a five-span Camelback Pratt through truss built in the early 1950s in conjunction with the construction of Bull Shoals Lake. <p> <em>The significance:</em> For reasons that are unclear, the Camelback truss design -- seemingly obsolete at the time -- was chosen for this and three other bridges built around Bull Shoals Lake. Very few other Camelback trusses were built in the country after World War II. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge is slated for replacement in 2017. <p> <em>The plan:</em> According to a <a href="">news story from February</a>, the idea was floated at a public meeting to preserve the bridge for use as a pedestrian walkway. This could potentially be more cost effective than building a walkway on the new bridge. <p> <big><b><a href="">Kingpost Bridge</a> (Otsego County, New York)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> CANALLER <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is an abandoned three-span timber Kingpost pony truss overpass of the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad, operated by the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society. <p> <em>The significance:</em> It's a Kingpost. It features timber trusses. It has three spans. What more is there to like? This is an exceedingly rare -- if not unique -- bridge. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge is abandoned with portions of the deck missing. <p> <em>The plan:</em> This spectacular structure needs some attention before it deteriorates beyond the point of no repair. Welcome to Covered Bridge Heritage Month Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:00:00 PST April has been declared Covered Bridge Heritage Month, and we're ready at to shine the spotlight on this category of oft-neglected and frequently overlooked historic bridges. <p> To celebrate, you'll notice a few improvements to the website: <p> 1. The masthead photos are now 100% covered bridges. <p> 2. Only covered bridge related updates now appear on the front page. <p> 3. By popular demand, covered bridges will be automatically highlighted on the county listing pages to distinguish them from boring old iron bridges. The ability to hide covered bridges -- a feature only used by one regular user -- has been deprecated in order to simplify the user interface and improve efficiency. National Bridge Inventory 2013 released Sun, 09 Mar 2014 00:00:00 PST The federal government has <a href="">finally posted</a> the latest version of the National Bridge Inventory database. <p> I've updated the inspection reports for the bridges on this website where possible. The "Add Bridge from NBI" tool has been updated with the 2013 data, and I've also added other years from the past to make it easier to find lost bridges. <p> In addition, I've posted a new version of the OVERPASS software program for processing the raw NBI data. This new version updates the fields for the 2013 edition and attempts to handle some of the broken latitude/longitude coordinates for certain bridges (although some of them are hopeless). You can <a href="">download it here</a> (note: it requires the Perl programming language). Welcome to 2014 Thu, 02 Jan 2014 00:00:00 PST With the new year arriving, it's time again for the annual <a href="">TRUSS Awards</a> to recognize Top-Rated Unique Savable Structures. The purpose is to draw attention to special bridges that are threatened with demolition, but could be saved. <p> Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 31, with the awards announced sometime in February. <p> To nominate a bridge, go to the page for that bridge and click the "Nominate" button near the top. Or, for bridges that aren't listed, <a href="">follow this link</a>. <p> New feature: Upload photos by email Sun, 17 Nov 2013 00:00:00 PST If you have an editor's account, you can now upload photos or forum comments by email. <p> First, login to the website and go to the <a href="/scripts/user/settings.cgi">Settings</a> page. Make a note of the email address given under "Personalized email address for submissions." When you send messages to that address, the system will automatically process them and link them to your account so that you get proper credit. <p> Use the email's subject line to specify where you want the attached photos to appear. See the <a href="/help/quick/#Email">Help page</a> for full details. <p> The main advantage is being able to upload photos or post comments from your smartphone in the field. If, for example, you discover a "bonus" bridge, you can quickly post a forum comment with a snapshot, even while you're standing on it (assuming you can get a signal). <p> Note that this is an experimental feature, so let me know how it works (or doesn't work). 2013 Ammann Awards- Now taking nominations Fri, 25 Oct 2013 00:00:00 PST Well, 2013 is almost over. With November looming, we also have our last award to be given out honoring historic bridges and pontists both on the national as well as the international scale. The third annual Othmar H. Ammann Awards, presented by the Bridgehunter's Chronicles, is now open, and nominations are being taken for Best Photo, Best Kept Secret, Best Mystery Bridge, Lifetime Legacy and a new category, Best Example of a Well-Preserved Historic Bridge. Between now and December 1st at 12:00am Central Standard Time, the Chronicles will be taking nominations with voting to commence in December. The winners will be announced before Christmas. More information on the Ammann Awards can be found via link below. Please submit your nominations to Jason Smith at the Chronicles at Happy Bridgehunting and looking forward to your submissions of your photos for the Awards. <p> Link: <a href=""></a> Federal Court Upholds Deal Between Car Ferry and EPA Sat, 12 Oct 2013 00:00:00 PST According to the Detroit <em>Free Press</em>, it appears the car ferry SS <em>Badger</em> will continue to ply Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and Ludington. The <em>Badger</em> is the last operational car ferry of the once enormous fleet of railroad ferries, and the last coal-fired cargo vessel on the lakes. <p> And therein lies her problem. The SS <em>Badger</em> has been on the endangered species list since 2008, when the Environmental Protection Agency leveled the ship into its crosshairs. Coal-fired vessels disposed of coal ash by mixing it with water and pouring it overboard. The <em>Badger</em> is no different, and has been disposing of coal ash into the lake since it was built in 1953. The EPA claims the coal ash is a pollutant and ordered the dumping stopped in 2008. The operators were given until 2012 to stop dumping or cease operations. The legal battle has continued ever since. <p> On October 10, 2013, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff approved a revised deal between the EPA and Lake Michigan Carferry, parent company of the S.S. <em>Badger</em>. <p> The agreement allows the <em>Badger</em> to continue operations while modifications are made to the ship. The deal calls for a reduction in the amount of ash discharged during the 2014 sailing season and by the start of the 2015 season, the <em>Badger</em> will have to store coal ash on board for later disposal on shore. <p> With this ruling, it appears the Queen of the Great Lakes Car Ferries (and the last of her breed still sailing) will continue to be an operational historical landmark. Two major milestones reached Thu, 27 Jun 2013 00:00:00 PST Earlier today, we reached a major milestone: 20,000 bridges now have at least one photo. This comes on the heels of another impressive achievement: over 150,000 total photos posted. <p> Congratulations to everybody who has contributed! <p> Buchanan County Iowa Bridge Washed Away Fri, 31 May 2013 00:00:00 PST The 300th Street Bridge over Dry Creek in Buchanan County was washed away by flooding this week, reported by Adam Amdor of KWWL. Historic Bridge Weekend Coming to Iowa Tue, 02 Apr 2013 00:00:00 PST Each year since 2009, the Historic Bridge Weekend has taken place in August or September, and each year, it has drawn in more people who are experts in historic bridges, preservation or history, as well as those who are either bridge enthusiasts or have a keen interest in how these vintage structures were built and how they played a role in American History. <p> This year's Historic Bridge Weekend will focus on Iowa, where various types of historic bridges dating as far back as the 1870s can still be seen today, each having its own history in terms of bridge builder and in terms of its association with the communities that cherish them. <p> The 5th annual event will take place August 9th through the 12th and will focus on eastern Iowa and the Des Moines area. A formal dedication dinner honoring James Hippen will take place August 9th at the Stone City General Store near Anamosa, with dinner and presentations taking place August 10th at Baxa's Restaurant and Tavern next to Sutliff Bridge and August 11th at Horn's Ferry Bridge at 2:30pm as well as at Bos Landen Golf Course near the Horn's Ferry Bridge in Pella at 5:30pm. <p> The trip to the Kate Shelley Viaduct on the morning of August 12 will round off the four-day event. <p> More information on the HB Weekend, as well as contact details can be found via link here: <a href=""></a> <p> Please RSPV Jason Smith before July 15th if you are interested in participating in the HB Weekend and attending the dinner and presentations, so that the venues know how many will attend and you can plan accordingly. Hope to see you at this year's HB Weekend in Iowa. New site features Mon, 01 Apr 2013 00:00:00 PST You may have noticed some new features rolled out over the last few weeks: <p> <ul> <li>County pages now have filters for hiding or showing different classes of bridges (lost, modern and covered). The system remembers your settings from page to page. <p> <li>Likewise, the <a href="/updates">Updates page</a> has filters to hide/show different kinds of changes. This way you can filter out minor updates, but highlight major status changes (such as a bridge being demolished). <p> <li>On bridge pages, the major tools (Photo gallery, Google Map and Google Street View) are customizable. Just look for the "Preference" pulldown menu to see the options. All of these settings are remembered via cookies, so they apply to each computer or device separately, and no login is required. So, you could allow Street View on your desktop computer, but hide it on your smartphone. <p> <li>The new "Reports" tab in the main navigation bar includes various kinds of statistics about bridges listed on the site. <p> <li>By popular demand, photos are now automatically enhanced with a special color-balance tool. The idea is to match the style popularized by one of our regular contributors. He claims that the unique colors in his photos are the result of busted camera settings, but we all know that he was ahead of his time in using an Instagram-like style long before Instagram was a thing. For now, this feature only applies to thumbnails, but I plan to roll it out to all photos. </ul> Announcing the 2013 TRUSS Awards Fri, 01 Feb 2013 00:00:00 PST Here are the winners of this year's TRUSS Awards (Top Rated Unique Savable Structures), representing the "best" projects from those that were nominated. Of course, "best" is a subjective measure, and it wasn't easy to pick the winners from the large pool of nominees. But these bridges are all special and deserve every ounce of attention and support we can muster. (And let's not forget about the <a href="">winners from previous years</a>.) <p> Congratulations to the nominators and all of the people involved in the campaigns to save these bridges! <p> <p> <big><b><a href="">Aetnaville Bridge</a> (Ohio County, West Virginia, and Belmont County, Ohio)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Joshua Collins <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Built 1891, this four-span pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss crosses a back channel of the Ohio River between Ohio and West Virginia. It was closed to traffic in 1988 and continues to deteriorate. <p> <em>The significance:</em> While overshadowed by the nearby Wheeling Suspension Bridge, this is still an ornate and rare example of a multiple-span Pennsylvania truss. It is a contributing resource for the National Register Wheeling Island Historic District. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Not content with demolishing the nearby Bridgeport Bridge, the West Virginia Division of Highways <a href="">now wants to remove this bridge</a>. <p> <em>The plan:</em> The Aetnaville Bridge represents a key missing link in a bike trail between West Virginia, Ohio, and beyond. Ohio Valley Trail Partners is <a href="">pushing the save the bridge</a> and restore it for bicycle/pedestrian use. This is a reasonable idea, but action will need to be taken soon before WVDOH gets bulldozer-happy again. <p> <big><b><a href="">Mulberry Creek Bridge</a> (Ford County, Kansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Wayne R Keller <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a two-span pin-connected Pratt through truss relocated here in the late 1950s. The two spans were originally part of the six-span Second Avenue Bridge over the Arkansas River in Dodge City, built 1906. <p> <em<The significance:</em> Truss bridges in western Kansas are exceedingly rare. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge failed an inspection in May 2012 and the county wants to replace it with a culvert. However, the culvert would be prone to flooding, making access to local properties difficult or impossible during wet weather. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Wayne R Keller, who owns a ranch on the road, is trying to stop the county from demolishing the bridge. The bridge could be repaired -- the biggest issue is a broken pin that, as it turns out, is not a pin at all, but a makeshift piece of metal used when the bridge was reconstructed in the 1950s. <p> <big><b><a href="">B.B. Comer Bridge</a> (Jackson County, Alabama)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Sheila Fossett <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This 1930 cantilever through truss carries eastbound AL 35 traffic over the Tennessee River (Guntersville Lake) near Scottsboro. A modern parallel bridge, built 1985, carries westbound traffic. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Starting in 1927, the Alabama State Bridge Corporation built 15 memorial toll bridges across the state. The B.B. Comer Bridge is the last remaining bridge from this era. Alabama's inventory of historic metal bridges continues to dwindle, a point made clear with the ridiculous loss of Lauderdale County's <a href="">Ghost Bridge</a> in January. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Construction started in 2007 to build a replacement bridge on a new alignment. This project is <a href="">expected to be finished in 2015</a>, concluding with the demolition of the B.B. Comer Bridge. <p> <em>The plan:</em> A vigorous <a href="">Facebook campaign</a> to save the bridge has over 2,000 members. The bridge could be preserved as a bicycle/pedestrian walkway. Since the Tennessee River is a navigable waterway, it may not be realistic to save the whole bridge -- especially with the U.S. Coast Guard involved -- but some effort could still be made to save the southeastern approach spans as a walkway. This wouldn't be unprecedented: the <a href="">Old Railroad Bridge</a> over the Tennessee River at Florence could serve as a model. <p> <big><b><a href="">Long Meadow Bridge</a> (Hennepin County, Minnesota)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Jason Smith <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a five-span riveted Camelback through truss built in 1920 over a lake next to the Minnesota River. It was bypassed by a new bridge on Cedar Avenue in 1979. The City of Bloomington reluctantly took ownership in 1981, but by 2002, the historic bridge had deteriorated to the point where it was deemed unsafe even for pedestrians. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Five-span through trusses aren't exactly around every corner. Last year, the Bloomington Historical Society <a href="">received a state grant</a> to prepare a nomination to list the bridge on the National Register. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The city <a href="">wants to demolish the bridge</a> and replace it with either a UCEB or a berm that would provide bicycle/pedestrian access across Long Meadow Lake. However, the land surrounding the bridge is part of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the federal government has refused to issue permits to allow demolition. For now, with the <a href="">two sides at a stalemate</a>, the bridge continues to deteriorate. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Rehabilitating the Long Meadow Bridge would restore an important bicycle/pedestrian link across the Minnesota River waterway. The Bloomington city engineer is adamant that the bridge must be demolished, so it will be up to local organizations or some other government agency to save the bridge (and take it away from the city's clutches). <p> <big><b><a href="">Vera Cruz Bridge</a> (Wells County, Indiana)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Tony Dillon <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is an 1887 wrought-iron Whipple through truss. It was bypassed by a modern bridge in 1984, but was allowed to remain standing. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Even in a state known for its Whipple trusses, the population is growing thinner. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The stone abutments are crumbling, putting this bridge in jeopardy of collapsing. In 2009, Tony Dillon posted, "It is wrought iron so the trusses are in pretty good shape. However the problem lies with the trees that are growing at the ends of the bridge. The abutments are made of unusually small stones, and the tree roots are starting to cause some major separation." The situation hasn't improved since then. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Unless the abutments can be repaired somehow, a new home for this bridge will need to be found before it is too late. Meanwhile, the <a href="">Feederdam Bridge</a> in Clay County (1894 Whipple) faces the same situation. <p> <big><b><a href="">Fairfax Bridge</a>/<a href="">Platte Purchase Bridge</a> (Platte County, Missouri, and Wyandotte County, Kansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> James Baughn <p> <em>The bridges:</em> This is a pair of cantilever through trusses over the Missouri River in the Kansas City area. The Fairfax Bridge, built in 1935 and now carrying southbound traffic, is the older of the pair, but the northbound 1957 Platte Purchase Bridge is also historic in its own right. <p> <em>The significance:</em> Cantilever trusses over the Missouri River in Missouri are an endangered species. The <a href="">Miami</a> and <a href="">Hermann</a> bridges have already been demolished; the <a href="">Amelia Earhart</a> is next; and the <a href="">Daniel Boone</a> and <a href="">Washington</a> bridges will fall in the coming years. Before long, the Fairfax Bridge will be the oldest of its class in Missouri. It is National Register eligible. <p> <em>The situation:</em> MoDOT is <a href="">currently studying</a> "alternatives" for the two bridges, but naturally all of the alternatives feature demolition of at least the Fairfax Bridge, and possibly the Platte Purchase Bridge as well. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Kansas City has a serious lack of bicycle/pedestrian access across the Missouri River, and the Fairfax would be the perfect ticket to correct this problem. If a new bridge is built, the Fairfax should be retained for bicycle use -- a move that would somewhat mitigate the shortsighted decision to destroy the <a href="">Chouteau Bridge</a> in 2001. <p> <big><b><a href="">Rainbow Bridge</a> (McLean County, Illinois)</b></big> <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a bowstring through truss, <a href="">reportedly</a> built 1868 by the King Iron Bridge Co. <p> <em>The significance:</em> If the 1868 date is accurate, this might be the oldest remaining bowstring truss in the country. It is National Register eligible. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The bridge is now derelict with the deck missing, but is otherwise in decent condition. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Although not in immediate danger, this bridge is too significant to risk allowing it to succumb to Mother Nature. In 1993, McLean County <a href="">pursued</a> federal grants to build a park next to the bridge and refurbish it for pedestrian use, but that idea fell through. It's time to try again. <p> <big><b><a href="">Big Elm Creek Bridge</a> (Falls County, Texas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Roger & Kathleen Schumacher <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This is a bowstring pony truss that still carries traffic, but with very low inspection ratings. It has the appearance of an 1870s-era King Bridge Co. span. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is one of only five known bowstrings in Texas, and the last to carry vehicular traffic. <p> <em>The situation:</em> The low rating makes this a likely candidate for replacement at some point in the future. Roger & Kathleen Schumacher posted this comment: "Come quick, every old bridge in the area is being replaced." <p> <em>The plan:</em> Ideally, this bridge could be rehabilitated to continue carrying light traffic. If that isn't feasible, then this bridge should be preserved in a new location (it's only 70 feet long). Meanwhile, the abandoned <a href="">Jonesboro Bridge</a> in Hamilton County, with a nearly identical design, also needs attention. <p> <big><b><a href="">Lofton Henderson Memorial Bridge</a> (Lorain County, Ohio)</b></big> <p> <em>The bridge:</em> A cantilevered through truss, this 1939 bridge carries four lanes of traffic high above the Black River Ship Channel. <p> <em>The significance:</em> An iconic part of Lorain, Ohio, this bridge is National Register eligible and recognized as "Select" on the Ohio Historic Bridge List. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Despite having a relatively good sufficiency rating (58.7), officials want to get rid of this bridge. The <a href="">Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency website</a> says that the bridge is programmed for replacement starting in 2016. <p> <em>The plan:</em> As a "Select" bridge that is still in reasonably good condition, the government needs to do a better job of exploring alternatives to replacement. If the current bridge is too narrow -- the usual excuse for demolition -- then why not consider building a parallel bridge? <p> <big><b><a href="">Arkadelphia Bridge</a> (Clark County, Arkansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Wayne Kizziar <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Originally built in 1933, this Parker through truss was relocated to Arkadelphia in 1960. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is one of a dwindling number of through trusses on Arkansas state highways. It was added to the National Register in 2006. <p> <em>The situation:</em> AHTD has announced plans to replace the bridge, although squabbling over the location of the replacement bridge has delayed the project. The bridge has a relatively decent sufficiency rating (44) and is not considered structurally deficient. <p> <em>The plan:</em> If the new bridge is built as part of a bypass some distance away, then it makes more sense to retain the old bridge for local downtown traffic. AHTD has previously offered the bridge for adaptive reuse, with no takers, but the bridge doesn't necessarily need to be reused at all -- it's just fine where it is, as long as heavy highway traffic is diverted elsewhere. <p> <hr size="1" noshade><span style="font-size:1.3em;color:#aa1111;">Bonus!</span> <p> <span style="color:#aa1111;">I had originally planned to only pick ten winners, but three more worthy bridges crossed my desk soon after the nomination deadline. These bridges are too important to ignore: the first is nationally significant, while the other two face urgent threats. As a result, I've decided to expand the winner's circle to feature "13 for '13."</span> <p> <big><b><a href="">English Center Bridge</a> (Lycoming County, Pennsylvania)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Historic American Engineering Record <p> <em>The bridge:</em> This one-of-a-kind bridge built in 1891 has the appearance of an eyebar suspension bridge, but is usually described as a "two-hinged inverted trussed arch." <p> <em>The significance:</em> This bridge has been the subject of intense engineering analysis, including detailed HAER reports, to determine exactly how it functions, a question that is still open to debate. The bridge was added to the National Register in 1978, a very early date. <p> <em>The situation:</em> PennDOT closed the bridge to traffic in <a href="">May 2012</a> because "one of the cross member supports snapped." A <a href="">letter dated Jan. 14, 2013</a>, states that the agency "is in the preliminary phase of the transportation development process to establish a statement of purpose and need and study alternatives..." Unfortunately, based on Pennsylvania's reputation, it's easy be cynical and expect that the "alternatives" will consist of (a) demolition (b) demolition or (c) demolition. <p> <em>The plan:</em> It may not be feasible to repair this bridge for vehicular use, especially with increasing volumes of traffic connected to the natural gas fracking industry in the area. However, even if a modern bridge is built, there is absolutely no excuse for removing this nationally-significant structure. This point needs to be expressed to PennDOT early and often. <p> <big><b><a href="">Seven Island Bridge</a> (Stokes County, North Carolina)</b></big> <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Built in 1905, this pinned Pratt through truss was relocated in 1926 to span the Dan River on Seven Island Road. <p> <em>The significance:</em> This is one of a dwindling number of pin-connected truss bridges in North Carolina. <p> <em>The situation:</em> In 2005, when NCDOT was prepared to replace the bridge, the Town of Danbury agreed to take over ownership, hoping to eventually use it for a pedestrian crossing at a park. In preparation, the superstructure was moved to a private field, but the town's five-year contract with the landowner to store the bridge has expired. Now the town, which does not have the resources to move and restore the bridge, is trying to <a href="">find a solution</a> -- but the clock is ticking. <p> <em>The plan:</em> It would be a shame to lose this bridge after it was already "saved" once before. Since the bridge is sitting on blocks over dry land, this represents an easier restoration project than usual. The town is soliciting proposals for finding a new home for the bridge; see the <a href="">town website</a> for details. The deadline is Feb. 26. <p> <big><b><a href="">Whitewater River Bridge</a> (Butler County, Kansas)</b></big> <p> <img src="" style="vertical-align:top;"> Jim Lytton <p> <em>The bridge:</em> Jim Lytton discovered and photographed this wrought-iron Pratt through truss, built in 1886 by P.E. Lane. <p> <em>The significance:</em> At present, only six known <a href="">P.E. Lane bridges</a> remain across the country. It seems almost certain this bridge would be declared National Register eligible if formally reviewed. <p> <em>The situation:</em> Abandoned on a private farm lane, the main stone pier on this bridge shows an alarming amount of decay. It's a small miracle that the truss has held firm this long. <p> <em>The plan:</em> Robert Elder writes, "I strongly suspect that there would be interest in preserving this bridge if local residents and officials were made aware of its existence." Looking back on previous winners Sun, 27 Jan 2013 00:00:00 PST Before announcing the winners for this year's TRUSS Awards, I thought it would be helpful to check on the status of winners from the first two years. For most bridges, nothing much has happened -- good or bad -- although the day of reckoning is quickly approaching for many of them: <p> <b>2012 winners</b> <p> <ul> <li><a href="">Washington Bridge</a> (Franklin County, Missouri) - Still scheduled for replacement in the next few years <p> <li><a href="">Meadows Road Bridge</a> (Northampton County, Pennsylvania) - This bridge is still standing, but a decision on its future is <a href="">still pending</a>. <p> <li><a href="">Danville-Mickles Bowstring Bridge</a> (Yell County, Arkansas) - No change <p> <li><a href="">Neosho River K-47 Bridge</a> (Neosho County, Kansas) - Construction on a replacement bridge is underway. When the old bridge is demolished, only two other bridges of this kind will remain (one in Kansas and one in Nebraska). <p> <li><a href="">Cedar Grove Bridge</a> (Franklin County, Indiana) - Local organizations are trying to <a href="">raise money</a> to acquire the bridge and restore it for a pedestrian/bicycle trail. <p> <li><a href="">Meridian Street Bridge</a> (Pierce County, Washington) - This bridge is still scheduled for replacement, although interest has been shown in relocating it for use on a recreational trail. <p> <li><a href="">Bolivia Road Bridge</a> (Sangamon and Christian counties, Illinois) - Still slated to be replaced <p> <li><a href="">Cascade Bridge</a> (Des Moines County, Iowa) - Demolition of this rare deck truss remains likely. <p> <li><a href="">Newport Bridge</a> (Jackson County, Arkansas) - Planning continues for a replacement bridge, but hopefully the old bridge will be taken over by the city of Newport and allowed to remain standing. <p> <li><a href="">CStPM&O Bridge</a> (Eau Claire County, Wisconsin) - Work to rehabilitate this bridge and open it for pedestrian use is expected to be completed in 2013. <p> <li><a href="">Black Bridge</a> (Albany County, New York) - Plans are still underway to rehabilitate this bridge as part of a bike trail, but bids for the project <a href="">came in higher than expected</a>. <p> <li><a href="">Murray Bridge</a> (Humboldt County, Iowa) - Situation unknown <p> <li> <a href="">Hulton Bridge</a> (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) - Construction of the replacement bridge on a new alignment is slated to begin Fall 2013 and be completed by 2016, with demolition of the old bridge soon after <p> <li><a href="">Sixth Street Bridge</a> (Los Angeles County, California) - A design for the replacement bridge <a href="">has been selected</a>, with construction set to begin in 2015. <p> <li><a href="">Tappan Zee Bridge</a> (Rockland and Westchester counties, New York) - While state officials <a href="">briefly discussed</a> keeping the old bridge for pedestrian/bicycle use, that idea is now off the table. Construction on the replacement bridge is expected to begin this year. </ul> <p> <p> <p> <b>2011 winners</b> <p> <ul><li><a href="">McMillin Bridge</a> (Pierce County, Washington) - The state highway department is still adamant about demolishing this one-of-a-kind concrete truss bridge, but a <a href="">feature story in a local newspaper</a> chastises this decision. <p> <li><a href="">Mitchell River Bridge</a> (Barnstable County, Massachusetts) - Still likely to be replaced <p> <li><a href="">Beatty Road Bridge</a> (Morrow County, Ohio) - Bridge is still closed <p> <li><a href="">Mead Avenue Bridge</a> (Crawford County, Pennsylvania) - Bridge is still scheduled to be replaced, likely <a href="">starting Summer 2013</a> <p> <li><a href="">Long Shoals Bridge</a> (Bourbon County, Kansas) - Plans are underway to move this bridge to Fort Scott's riverfront. The bridge <a href="">will retain</a> its National Register listing after the move. <p> <li><a href="">Springfield Bridge</a> (Faulkner and Conway counties, Arkansas) - Bridge is still slowly deteriorating <p> <li><a href="">Independence Bowstring Bridge</a> (Montgomery County, Kansas) - No change <p> <li><a href="">Meramec River US 66 Bridge</a> (St. Louis County, Missouri) - The bridge's deck was removed in 2012 in an effort to <a href="">reduce the weight on the bridge</a> and buy more time. Local organizations are still working to rehabilitate this bridge for bicycle/pedestrian use as part of Route 66 State Park. <p> <li><a href="">Nachitoch Bluff Bridge</a> (Clark and Nevada Counties, Arkansas) - Still abandoned <p> <li><a href="">Panther Creek Bridge</a> (Miami County, Ohio) - Situation unknown <p> <li><a href="">Wagon Wheel Bridge</a> (Boone County, Iowa) - Situation unknown <p> <li><a href="">Riverside Bridge</a> (Christian County, Missouri) - The future of this bridge is still uncertain. </ul> Watch out for errors Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 PST I've been busy over the last few days making behind-the-scenes changes to this website (as well as and that will hopefully make the site load faster. <p> With any major programming overhaul, however, it's almost certain that ugly bugs will appear. If you see any errors -- especially the dreaded "Something went wrong" message -- then please let me know. <p> One last reminder: The deadline for submitting TRUSS Award nominations is this Friday, Jan. 18. <p> While you are pondering which bridges to submit, you may also want to consider going out on a limb and nominating a threatened bridge to the <a href="">America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places</a> program run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The deadline for 2013 nominations is March 1st. It would be ideal to see at least one bridge listed every year. Many states and some cities also have historic preservation organizations that run similar programs, so be sure to check them out as well. What new features would you like to see? Tue, 01 Jan 2013 00:00:00 PST As the new year arrives, we can try to be optimistic that 2013 won't bring as many demolitions and UCEBs as the last year. But I'm not holding my breath. <p> This is a good time to pause and reflect. What features or improvements would you like to see on this site? You can use this story to post your thoughts. <p> <b>Reminder:</b> I'm collecting nominations for the TRUSS Awards until Jan. 18, but please don't procrastinate. Right now 26 nominations have been submitted, but that's much less than in previous years. <p> <b>One final plug:</b> The hosting bills for this website have been steadily increasing thanks to the recent growth in traffic and uploaded photos. It's a good problem to have, I suppose, but it's still a problem. You can help by <a href="">making a donation</a> toward hosting costs. <p> Merry Christmas Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 PST <img src=""> <p> If you have some free time during the holidays, or you're looking for an excuse to take a break from your relatives, then I have the perfect mission for you: nominating a worthy bridge for the 2013 TRUSS Awards. This award is intended for historic bridges that are threatened with demolition or neglect, but are worthy of saving. <p> To nominate a bridge, navigation to that bridge's page and then click the yellow "Nominate" button. If a bridge isn't listed, then <a href="">follow this link</a>. <p> The deadline for nominations is January 18, 2013. <p> Try out the new "What's Here?" feature Sun, 09 Dec 2012 00:00:00 PST If you have an editor's account, you may have noticed the "What's Here?" button next to the map when adding or editing a bridge. This feature generates a list of geographic entities located near the bridge. Click on the "Show" link next an item to see it superimposed on the map. <p> <img src="/images/news/whats-here-screenshot.png" width="402" height="771"> <p> Right now, the tool shows these items: <p> <ul> <li>Counties <li>County subdivisions (townships, New England towns, precincts, etc.) <li>Incorporated places (cities, towns, villages, etc.) <li>Quadrangle maps from the USGS, with link to download <li>Railroad lines, with the yard or subdivision if available <li>Other bridges <li>Listings from </ul> <p> This tool should help settle arguments over the ownership of railroad lines, as well as whether a bridge is located in a certain town or township. It should also help cut down on duplicate listings, since it will show other nearby bridges that are already listed. <p> Right now this is a highly experimental feature. I plan to expand it to cover other things (rivers, lakes, highways, streets, public land). If this is successful, and it doesn't overload the webserver, then I hope to make this tool more widely available. The "accidental" historic bridge park Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:00:00 PST Calhoun County, Michigan, has received much deserved praise for the <a href="">Historic Bridge Park</a> that has provided a home for truss bridges relocated from elsewhere. <p> But Clay County, Illinois, has something equally special. Sadly, it has gone unnoticed. <p> When US 50 was constructed in the early 1920s, the concrete highway included three through truss bridges and one long concrete girder bridge. Three of the four bridges were built with unusual brick parapets. <p> <img src=""> <p> The highway was bypassed decades ago by a new alignment, but everything from the vintage highway remains intact: the bridges, the concrete pavement, and the brickwork. Of course, the lack of maintenance has caused the structures to deteriorate, especially the intricate brickwork. <p> <img src=""> <p> While the bridges are barricaded, the connecting stretches of concrete highway are still open to traffic (for landowner access), but see virtually no use, except perhaps from ATV riders. The pavement is rough, but this 2.5 mile stretch of vintage highway has potential as a pedestrian/bicycle trail. With some repairs, brush clearing, and signage, this could be a wonderful park that would cost relatively little. <p> <img src=""> <p> Unfortunately, the replacement bridges on US 50 are also deteriorating, and IDOT intends to replace them in the coming years. This means that the historic bridges, which sit side-by-side to the replacement bridges, are likely in jeopardy because of their proximity to the construction area. <p> <img src=""> <p> Local and state officials probably consider these orphaned bridges to be a liability, but with the right marketing, they could be transformed into an asset instead. The concrete girder bridge has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but I feel the entire collection of bridges and pavement should be evaluated as a potential historic district. <p> <img src=""> <p> This could become a recognized historic site and a recreation area, all with a budget that would be far lower than what other counties and towns are spending to build brand-new walking and bicycle trails. <p> <b>The bridges, from west to east:</b> <p> <ul> <li><a href="">Little Wabash River Bridge</a>: Pin-connected, 9-panel Parker through truss <li><a href="">Little Wabash River Overflow Bridge</a>: 500-ft long concrete girder bridge with brick parapets <li><a href="">Little Muddy Creek Bridge</a>: Riveted, 7-panel Pratt through truss; approaches have brick parapets <li><a href="">Unnamed Culvert</a>: Small box culvert with brick parapet remaining on one side (still legally open to traffic) <li><a href="">Big Muddy Creek Bridge</a>: Riveted, 7-panel Pratt through truss; approaches have brick parapets </ul> <p> 2012 Ammann Awards: Now Accepting Nominations Mon, 05 Nov 2012 00:00:00 PST This month is National Historic Bridge Month, and with that comes the second annual Othmar H. Ammann Awards, given out by the Bridgehunter's Chronicles. Between now and the 30 November at 12:00am Central Standard Time (USA) and 1 December at 12:00pm Central European Time (Europe), the Bridgehunter's Chronicles is taking nominations for the Lifetime Legacy, Best Snapshot and Best Kept Secret Awards, as well as Awards for the Best Mystery Bridge and the Bridge of the Year- two new categories introduced for this year. More information on how to nominate your photo, bridge and person can be seen via link here: <p> <a href=""></a> <p> The winner will be announced on 23 December. <p> The Bridgehunter's Chronicles has also started a new page with the best bridge preservation examples, providing people with some live examples of historic bridges that were preserved to use as a reference for their bridge that is a target of preservation versus progress. If you have a success story that you would like to share on the Chronicles, please contact Jason D. Smith at the Chronicles at: or <p> Other historic bridge campaigns and mystery bridges are still being gathered for posting as well. If you have one that needs attention of the general public, out with it! You'll be amazed at the support you will receive on a larger more global scale. Thank you. Historic Bridge Conference scheduled for September Wed, 15 Aug 2012 00:00:00 PST The 4th annual historic bridge conference will be held Sept. 21-23, 2012. This year's destination is the Hoosier state, featuring a tour of bridges around Indianapolis and southern Indiana, with special attention on the doomed <a href="">Madison Bridge</a> as well as the always-photogenic Laughery "Triple Whipple" Creek Bridge. <p> For information, contact host Tony Dillon at <a href=""></a>. Bridgehunter's Chronicles now taking articles and mystery bridge photos Fri, 10 Aug 2012 00:00:00 PST While the author has been busy profiling some of the historic bridges, providing readers with tours of areas with high numbers of historic bridges, following up on preservation attempts on many, writing about ways to preserve them and digging out some interesting facts on them, or should I say how to find them, there are many historic bridges out there that are threatened with demolition but preservation groups are working to save them and need your help. This includes the Orange Road Bridge in Ohio, the Ft. Atkinson Bridge in Iowa and the Amelia Earhart Bridge in Kansas, just to name a few. <p> The Bridgehunter's Chronicles would like to help you bring these historic bridges to the attention of the readers, with the goal of providing support and addressing the issues involved with these precious vintage structures. <p> If you are part of an organization that is working to save a historic bridge or know a historic bridge that is threatened with demolition but would like to save it, please provide a short summary of the structure (history, status, etc.) as well as plans for preserving the structure and a couple photos and send them to Jason D. Smith using the following e-mail address: The information will then be posted on the Bridgehunter's Chronicles, where you will receive some feedback and support for your historic bridge with hopes that you will garner enough support and interest to save the structure. These articles will be posted starting in September. <p> In addition to that, the Bridgehunter's Chronicles is also looking for any mystery bridges that deserve to be posted. If you have a bridge, whose information is missing and would like to know more about its origins, please send the author a photo with some information (including what questions you want solved on this structure) to the above-mentioned address. The mystery bridges will be posted in the Chronicles beginning in September and listed under the heading "Mystery Bridges." Please be aware that these mystery bridges you present must be those that were built in 1945 and earlier. <p> The Bridgehunter's Chronicles is a column that brings the past of historic bridges to light, and provides support for preserving historic bridges for future generations to come. After all, historic bridges are relics that deserve our attention. I-35W Bridge Disaster: Five Years Later Thu, 02 Aug 2012 00:00:00 PST There have been a lot of stories related to the five-year anniversary of the I-35W Bridge Disaster in Minneapolis, MN. On this day five years ago, the steel cantilever deck truss bridge collapsed during rush hour as many people were either returning home from work or attending a baseball game. 13 people were killed and more than 150 people were injured in that crash. The bridge collapsed severed the most important north-south link through Minneapolis and it would take over a year and a half until the new bridge was completed and opened to traffic. The tragedy created an outcry that the US was not doing enough to maintain its bridges and other infrastructure. It even started a crusade to eradicate structurally deficient bridges, in particular, the truss and cantilever bridges. Yet by the same token, it created awareness about the importance of preserving our past artifacts and has opened new opportunities for engineers, historians, technicians and bridge-lovers alike. While there is a lot to say about how things have changed in the five years since the tragedy, but I compiled an article which will describe the successes and shortcomings we have had since that time. While we haven't had a tragedy as severe as this one since 2007, we want to make sure that not only our bridges are safe, but our historic bridges receive just as much care as all the others. So read this narrative and think about what we have accomplished, what we should accomplish and what is yet to come in the next five years and beyond. Enjoy. <p> Link: <a href=""></a> Lessons learned from Eggner's Ferry Bridge Sun, 27 May 2012 00:00:00 PST "Near miraculous." That's how one official from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet described how everything came together to allow the Eggner's Ferry Bridge to be reopened to traffic in time for the summer boating season. When an off-course cargo ship obliterated one of the bridge's through truss spans on Jan. 26, the <a href="">situation looked dire</a>. The Kentucky Lake region depends on tourism, and those tourists were likely to go someplace else during the summer to avoid the lengthy detours caused by the loss of the bridge. <p> Despite the total destruction of a 322-ft span, the rest of the bridge, including the piers, remained intact. That's when KYTC decided to try to reopen the bridge with a temporary span. Hall Contracting, the same company that performed emergency repairs on the Sherman Minton Bridge at Louisville, was hired to fabricate and install a temporary span at Eggner's Ferry -- with a very strict deadline of Memorial Day. They delivered two-and-a-half days ahead of the deadline. <p> <img src=""> <p> Thanks to the early completion, KYTC decided to open the bridge to pedestrians during the morning of May 25 before allowing vehicular traffic. This was a repeat of the <a href="">wildly successful</a> "Bridge Day" at Owensboro, Kentucky, where a massive crowd came to see the newly refurbished Blue Bridge across the Ohio River. The Bridge Day at Eggner's Ferry, coming on a weekday with only several hours notice, wasn't able to attract the same overflowing crowd. But that didn't matter: <a href="">a sizable crowd did arrive</a>, and everybody who walked, bicycled, scooted, or golf-carted across the bridge had reason to be absolutely jubilant. <p> <img src=""> <p> The new truss span, a simple Warren design, isn't nearly as intricate as the historic Parker and Pratt trusses, and it tends to stick out like a sore thumb. But it's better than 322 feet of thin air. Or a UCEB. <p> <img src=""> <p> Now that the Eggner's Ferry Bridge has reached a happy ending (at least until it's replaced in a few years), we should consider some important lessons from this episode: <p> <b>1. When disaster strikes, don't just scrap everything and start over</b> <p> Immediately after the cargo ship struck the bridge, it seemed that the most likely outcome would be for the old bridge to be scrapped while construction would be expedited on a replacement bridge. That's the typical response in modern American society, after all: scrap first and ask questions later. If this option had been chosen, however, people around Kentucky Lake would expect to be making lengthy detours for two, three, or four more summer tourist seasons. Thankfully, circumstances made it feasible to repair instead of scrap; based on past experience, however, it's safe to say that not every highway department would have even entertained the idea of trying to repair the damaged bridge. <p> <b>2. Trusses are still a viable technology</b> <p> In the aftermath of the <a href="">I-35W Bridge collapse</a>, truss bridges took a bum rap, with "experts" appearing out of the woodwork to claim that truss designs are inherently unsafe because they are "fracture critical." We've seen campaigns in many states and counties to eliminate all truss bridges from public roads, conveniently ignoring that other bridge designs have their own Achilles' heels. <p> Nevertheless, it was a truss design that was chosen for the replacement span at Eggner's Ferry. The span was assembled off-site and then floated up Kentucky Lake by barge to the bridge site, where two cranes hoisted the superstructure into place. It was an economical design that could be rapidly put together and installed. The more things change, the more they stay the same: these are the same benefits that bridge companies have touted for truss designs for the last century-and-a-half. <p> <b>3. Truss spans can be moved</b> <p> In a <a href="">recent forum comment</a>, a letter from an Ohio legislative aide was posted arguing that relocating truss bridges was an "unheard practice in today's technological age." What a load of expletive. Even with all of these technological advances at their disposal, the contractor for rebuilding Eggner's Ferry Bridge still relied on the tried-and-true practice of moving a prefabricated truss into place. Meanwhile, just downstream at Kentucky Dam, a <a href="">new railroad truss bridge</a> was built in 2009 using the same method: <a href="">floating the truss by boat and then lifting it into place</a>. And let's not forget about the <a href="">amazing development</a> in Illinois last year where a UCEB was replaced by a historic through truss relocated from another location. <p> Trusses were meant to be moved, either for initial construction or for later reuse elsewhere. This was a selling point historically, and is still true today... except perhaps in Ohio. <p> <b>4. Bridge events bring crowds</b> <p> It was fun to see all of the camera-toting people studying every square inch of the bridge while it was open to pedestrians. Letting visitors get a sneak preview of the bridge repairs was a nice touch, something that other highway departments should embrace. With last year's Bridge Day at Owensboro and now the Bridge Party at Eggners Ferry, it seems Kentucky has stumbled across an offbeat, but successful, kind of tourist attraction. <p> <b>5. Throw enough money at a engineering problem, and anything is possible.</b> <p> Well, I think we all knew this. It's just too bad there aren't a whole lot of opportunities for politicians to throw money at repairing historic bridges.