View Information About HSR Ratings
Sparks, Baltimore County, Maryland. A few miles east of Interstate 83, about 25 miles north of Baltimore and 17 miles south of the Maryland/Pennsylvania state line.
Semi-rural, in woods just outside boundary of Gunpowder Falls State Park, near the Sparks Nature Center, not far from suburban development on either side of the park.
Belfast Road exit from I-83. Parking available in small lot for the rail trail and Nature Center a short walk from the bridge.
One-lane bridge, steel grid deck, carries traffic on Sparks Road, a narrow, winding two-lane road.
Plaque on truss over roadway reads "Wrought Iron Bridge Co., Canton, Ohio". No date on bridge. No decorative elements other than the plaque.
None known. However, the bridge is not currently preserved or in a park. It does support traffic, and further suburban development in the area could potentially increase traffic needs on the bridge.
The prolific Wrought Iron Bridge Company typically built bridges for customers according to one of its many standard designs it used over the years. This bridge is an example of one of the company's standard designs that was apparently rarely used, since very few remain today relative to other designs. The unique features that distinguish this rare standard is the use of lacing instead of cover plate on end posts and top chord, as well as the unusually broad portal bracing consisting of what couple be described as a very sparse lattice design. This design was likely offered by the company as an alternative to the Whipple truss where a longer span was required. Note the relatively long (for a pin-connected Pratt) span of 175 feet for this bridge.
The bridge was altered in 1990 by addition of a load-bearing steel arch. There are a variety of ways such a retrofit can be added to a truss bridge, this bridge showcases one of the most invasive methods. Some arch retrofits simply connect hangers to floorbeams, but this example also has massive stringers added under the deck, as well as a secondary bottom chord added for the benefit of the arch.
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
Search For Additional Bridge Listings:
Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.
HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.
2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
Google Streetview (If Available)
GeoHack (Additional Links and Coordinates)
Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)
Apple Maps (Apple devices only)
Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App
Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)
Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)
Directions Via Sygic For Android
Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser
USGS National Map (United States Only)
Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)
Historic Aerials (United States Only)
CalTopo Maps (United States Only)
© Copyright 2003-2023, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.