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Governor's Bridge

   


Governor's Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Bob Dover

Bridge Documented: December 14, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Governor Bridge Road Over Patuxent River
Location
Bowie: Prince Georges County, Maryland and Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1912 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
114 Feet (34.7 Meters)
Structure Length
117.5 Feet (35.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
12 Feet (3.7 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
200000P0599010

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View The Historic Bridge Inventory Report For This Bridge

Information About Bridge Contributed By Bob Dover

Location:
Bowie, on the border between Prince Georges and Anne Arundel Counties, Maryland. Less than a mile south of US Route 50, about halfway between Washington DC and Annapolis, Maryland.

Setting:
Completely in woods, but very close to major suburban development in Bowie, including the Bowie Baysox minor league baseball stadium, on the west side of the bridge.

Access:
Within about a mile of the intersection of US Route 50 and US Route 301. Take Governor's Bridge Road just southeast of the intersection, behind the baseball stadium. No designated parking available. At time of site visit, Governor's Bridge Road was closed, blocked by Jersey barriers, for about a half-mile on either side of the bridge. You can pull off the shoulder of the road at the Jersey barriers, and walk down the road to the bridge. The ends of the bridge itself are also blocked off by Jersey barriers, but there are no signs, barriers, or gates prohibiting hikers from walking around the barrier and out onto the bridge.

There are no signs at the bridge explaining the reason for the road closure. An internet search shows that an inspection in April, 2013, determined that the bridge was unsafe, and it was closed for repairs. Those articles, posted in April through July, 2013, report that the repairs are expected to take up to four weeks. However, the site visit at this bridge was conducted in December, and there is no sign of any pending construction activity.

Crosses:
Patuxent River

Current Status:
One-lane bridge, steel grid deck, carries traffic on Governor's Bridge Road, a narrow, winding two-lane road.

Decorations/Plaques:
No decorations or date plaques on bridge.

Threats:
The apparent delay in repairs, based on closure of the bridge in April for an estimated "four weeks" and repairs having not yet begun in December, may suggest that the county is considering options that could include removal of the bridge. A local person hiking on the road to the bridge during the site visit reported that he used the bridge for commuting, and that closure of the bridge was aggravating. The bridge is less than a mile south of US Route 50, a major commuting route between Annapolis and Washington DC, and which has terrible traffic jams in the morning. Locals who commute between the two counties, but wish to avoid the traffic jams on Route 50, would likely prefer to drive the extra distance on scenic Governor's Bridge Road for their commute. Therefore, this one-lane bridge likely gets a high volume of traffic, especially during rush hour, and was probably not sufficient to handle that traffic . This may account for the delay, if the county is considering overall sufficiency of the bridge for the traffic volume, instead of just structural integrity.

HistoricBridges.org Discussion

This is a traditionally composed example of a riveted through truss, a type that is locally uncommon.

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Photos and Videos: Governor's Bridge

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