Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Wilson Bridge
The Wilson Bridge carried the National Road over the Conocoheague Creek, west of Hagerstown, Maryland. The five arch stone bridge, spanning 215 feet, was built by Silas Harry in 1819, at a cost of $9,100. This photo, from the Historic American Buildings Survey, shows the bridge in use, in the 1930s.
It was superceded in 1937 by this concrete arch bridge.
The stone arch bridge remained in use until June, 1972, when it was damaged by Hurricane Agnes.
A flood damaged one arch of the bridge in 1982. It was scheduled for demolition, due to safety concerns and the high cost of restoration - estimated to be $300,000-$400,000. However, due to public concern, the bridge was restored and made into a public park.
It's interesting to note the rubble filled interior construction of the bridge.
Silas Harry completed the restoration work in 1984.
The bridge now stands in excellent condition, ready to last another 150 years.
The area leading up to the bridge, from the east, includes several picnic tables and a historical marker.
The remains of some old guard rails remain, hinting at a time when the road didn't dead-end into a parking lot.
Aside from the first image, black and white images are by William Edmund Barrett, for the Historic American Buildings Survey.
For additional photographs, see my set of images of the bridge over on Flickr.