Monday, March 2, 2009

Bridges Between - NOT today!

This bridge does NOT carry you between the west and east banks of Catoctin Creek. At least not for awhile. Last Wednesday I ventured out to find the Bennies Hill Road Bridge in the southwestern part of Frederick County. As I turned onto Bennies Hill Road, a sign warned "Road Closed Ahead". I drove on hoping to get some shots of the bridge, even if it meant a short walk to get there. At the end of my drive I encountered this:

The road is narrow and runs down a steep ridge to cross the creek and reach the valley floor. Here is view going back up.

I backtracked and crossed the creek on Sumantown Road about 3 miles down stream, arriving to this view:

I was able to get a close look at the bridge structure sitting in the road. The decking has been removed and new materials are there to replace the floor beams. The King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio built this bridge in 1879. It is a very rare bowstring pony truss and is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. The present restoration began last year and will resume in full around the first of April. A representative of the County Transportation Department told me there are about 45 days of work to finish. There is still some stonework to be completed on the abutments. I plan to get photos of the rebuilding of the bridge and will post updates.

Here are some detains of how the bowstring is built




4 comments:

ArneA said...

Expect to see the new bridge in operation May 4th
:)

RuneE said...

A nice post about the maintenance of a historic bridge - I hope it will be as good as indicated!

Hyde DP said...

A fascinating account and insight.

Bernie said...

Nice shots! I've seen the Bennies Hill Rd sign many times but have never been on the road or near the bridge.

Thanks for visiting my Middletown site. Let me know when you visit to take pictures here and I'll meet you for coffee at the Main Cup.