Appleton Bridge to Receive Prestigious National 2020 Prize Bridge Award

The Frances Appleton Pedestrian Bridge, which continues to garner widespread acclaim for its unique and innovative design, will receive a national 2020 Prize Bridge Award.

Alan Karchmer
The Frances Appleton Pedestrian Bridge.

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) have bestowed the Prize Bridge Awards every two years since 1928 to recognize the efficiency, sustainability and aesthetic appeal of steel bridges, and the Appleton Bridge will receive the accolade in the Special Purpose category at the World Steel Bridge Symposium in April in Atlanta, Ga.

“It is very rewarding that my design for the Frances Appleton Bridge continues to be recognized at both national and international levels,” wrote Miguel Rosales, the award-winning bridge designer and longtime Beacon Hill resident who designed the $12.5 bridge, which was completed two years ago as a major component of the $300 million-plus rehabilitation of the iconic Longfellow Bridge. “The Appleton Bridge illustrates the true art of bridge design in which engineering and aesthetics goals are achieved through technical innovation, creativity and context sensitivity.”  

All together, 19 bridges in different categories will receive Prize Bridge Awards this year, and runners-ups in the Special Purpose category are the East Shore Bridge; Lake Tahoe, Nev., and the 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge in Chicago, Ill.

“These projects are tributes to the creativity of the designers and the skills of the constructors who collaborated to make them reality,” AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, said in a press release “Steel shines and soars on their talents and we celebrate the accomplishments these projects represent.”

The 230-foot-long, steel-arch Appleton Bridge that links Charles Circle to the Charles River Esplanade is named for the wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the most widely known and best-loved American poets of his lifetime. He used to cross the Charles River from Cambridge to Beacon Hill in the 1840s while he was courting “Fanny” Appleton, and the bridge symbolizes their historic union.

The Appleton Bridge was also recognized last year with the Arthur G. Hayden Medal, an international award recognizing bridge innovation and design, as well as the American Architecture Award for 2019, which was jointly organized by The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

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