This bridge is a beautiful historic companion to the even older and more significant Casselman Bridge. Indeed the views of the Grantsville Bridge from the Casselman Bridge are spectacular, with the ugly, modern I-68 Bridge being the only scar on an otherwise pristine calendar-photo-quality landscape of historic bridge and mountains.
The truss bridge is an excellent representation of the standard plan design that Maryland employed for truss bridges in the 1930s. During the first half of the 20th century, states designed standard plans for bridges. It is often interesting to compare the designs that each state created for their truss bridges. Maryland's design appears to feature a wider deck than other states employed, unless this bridge was originally designed to accommodate more lanes of traffic than the two it holds today. Wide shoulders are present on the bridge. The Maryland design features extensive use of rolled beams as opposed to built-up members, giving the structure a more plain appearance than similar bridges in other states. Only the chords and some parts of the sway bracing are built-up. V-lacing occurs on the sway bracing beams, while lattice is on the underside of the top chord and end post box beams. The bottom chord sections are connected via battens. The Grantsville Bridge is also a skewed example of the design. Pole railings appear to be the original railings that remain on the bridge, while modern Armco style railings appear below those.
This bridge is locally significant as the last truss bridge remaining in the county, at least on public highways. There was apparently a pin-connected truss bridge near this bridge on River Road, but that apparently does not exist anymore. Given this fact, as well as the fact that the bridge is plenty wide for a modern highway, the preservation of this bridge for continued vehicular use in place seems a worthy cause.
This bridge is listed on Maryland's Historical Trust website as a state-identified historic place.
One interesting observation on this bridge is that the paint system is showing rust on the threads of the (non-original) bolts on the bridge. Perhaps the sharp edges of bolts develop rust quicker than the smooth round heads of rivets. Perhaps if historically correct rivets were used in rehabilitation a longer paint service life might also be achieved.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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