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Guilford Quarry Railroad Bridge

Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge

Guilford Quarry Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Bob Dover

Bridge Documented: January 10, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Patuxent Branch Rail-Trail) Over Little Patuxent River
Columbia: Howard County, Maryland: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1902 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

View The Historic Bridge Inventory Report For This Bridge

Information About Bridge Contributed By Bob Dover

Columbia, Howard County, Maryland. On Guilford Road, less than a mile from Interstate 95 and Maryland Route 32.


Suburban, in a small park across the road from an office park.

Exit Maryland Route 32 off of Interstate 95. The bridge sits in a small park with designated parking, and is also on bike/hike trails.

Little Patuxent River

Current Status:
Closed to traffic, the bridge was converted in 2002 to bike and pedestrian use only as the Patuxent Branch Rail Trail. Five historical exhibit plaques at the ends of the bridge describe the bridge itself, as well as the historical quarry and railroad operations.

Single span Pratt through-truss, originally constructed as a railroad bridge for the Patuxent Branch of the B&O Railroad. The vertical components of the truss are compound girders, and the diagonal supports are a combination of simple light-gauge steel bars and rods, but separated by wood spacers. The truss is skewed 35 degrees, so the bridge does not cross the river at a right angle. The two edges of the truss are offset, so the cross-pieces at the ends of the truss are not perpendicular to the edges, but connect to the edges at an angle. Color is gray.

No decorations or date plaques on bridge. There are five historical exhibit plaques in the park at the ends of the bridge - three on the western end and two on the eastern end.

Threats are unlikely. The bridge was rehabilitated in 2002, and is now serving as part of a rail trail within a county park.

HistoricBridges.org Discussion

For a railroad bridge, particularly one built in 1902, this bridge has very lightweight members. The laced end posts contribute to this appearance, and also add a nice aesthetic.


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