10 September 2017

Footbridge 2017 Awards winners announced

The winners of the 2017 Footbridge Awards were announced at the Footbridge 2017 conference in Berlin last week. I previously shared the list of shortlisted entries.

Short span (30m or less)
Winner: Merchant Square Footbridge, London, UK
Highly commended: Cykelsgangen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Highly commended: Waalhaven Bridge, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Medium span (30m to 75m)
Joint winner: Park Bridge Spoor Noord, Antwerp, Belgium
Joint winner: Weinbergbruecke, Rathenow, Germany
Highly commended: Inner Harbour Bridge, Copenhagen, Denmark

Long span (more than 75m)
Winner: Beer Sheva High-Tech Park Bridge, Beer Sheva, Israel

Jonathan Speirs Footbridge Lighting
Winner: George C King Bridge, Calgary, Canada

Historic renovation or reuse
Winner: Como Park Footbridge, Saint Paul, USA

I was struck at the conference by a number of excellent recent bridges which were presented at the event, but not featured on the awards shortlist. From discussion with those involved, it seems several of these were not submitted, which is a shame, as although the award winners all appear to be well-deserving, they offer only a snapshot of what is good out there.

What is impressive about the winning structures is their diversity, representing a good range of superior visual appearance alongside technical achievement and in several cases a degree of eccentricity.

Meanwhile, for anyone who thinks that these awards are terribly lopsided and that bad bridges deserve a share of publicity too, note that the Bridge Awards for Mediocrity and Plain Old Terribleness (the BAMPOTs) are still inviting nominations, until 15th September. I've currently received 19 suggestions, and readers will be pleased to learn that I have appointed a panel of anonymous yet prestigious international judges to sift through them all and come up with a shortlist, to be put to public vote in due course.

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