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Old Mill Road Bridge

Old Mill Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 9, 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Old Mill Road Over Owens Creek
Rural: Frederick County, Maryland: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1882 By Builder/Contractor: Pittsburgh Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
69 Feet (21 Meters)
Structure Length
69 Feet (21 Meters)
Roadway Width
13 Feet (3.96 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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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

This short truss bridge is just under 70 feet in length and contains five panels. It is however an extremely significant bridge as a very old example of a bridge built by a regionally prolific bridge company, the Pittsburgh Bridge Company. While fewer examples of this company appear to remain in Maryland, Western Pennsylvania has (or had) numerous examples of this company's work. Despite those examples, this bridge is still among the oldest remaining examples of the company.

The nomination for this bridge contains some interesting information. It mentions that records show when this bridge was built, the bridge company was represented by T. M. Nelson Esquire of Chambersburg (Pennsylvania). Later bridges would feature plaques that listed Chambersburg-based Nelson and Buchanan as agents for Pittsburgh Bridge Company. The appearance of T. M. Nelson Esquire with the construction of this bridge is likely an early representation of this company relationship.

Although the overall appearance of the bridge is quite different from the later Pittsburgh Bridge Company Bridges, there is one unique detail that this early example has that was carried on and seen in later examples. The bottom chord and its connections are framed by the floorbeams, which was something distinctive and different that this company did.

The bridge features v-lacing instead of solid plate on top of the end posts and top chord. This is an uncommon feature that few truss bridges display. It changes the way the bridge appears considerably, making it appear even more lightweight and geometrically complex than the normal arrangement with truss bridges, that have the plain plate on top.

The plaques, mounted on the portals, on this bridge are face the opposite direction compared to most bridges, and as such they face the center of the bridge are meant to be read from on the bridge.

Historic integrity is high on this bridge, with no major alterations noted.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Old Mill Road Bridge

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Maps and Links: Old Mill Road Bridge

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