The Historic Bollman Bridge
The Bollman Bridge over CSX Tracks
Where it Stood from 1871 to 2007
Bridge in Place on Scratch Hill Road
to carry the Great Allegheny Passage
This historic bridge was the work of Wendell Bollman (1814-1884),
of Baltimore, Md. He was a self-taught engineer and pioneer of iron railroad
bridges in America. This bridge is one of 75 known cast and wrought iron
bridges remaining in the U.S., according to a list
compiled by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) under
the direction of Eric DeLony. (Source: Civil Engineering
Department University of Florida)
It measures 24.4 meters and was constructed on Summit Township Road 381
over the former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Mainline north of Meyersdale
in 1871 by the Patapsco Bridge & Iron Works of Baltimore, Maryland. It carried vehicle traffic as a single lane bridge over the dual track B&O and was lightly used.
bridge was moved from its original location during the summer of 2007
and was reassembled over the Scratch Hill Road in Summit Township east
of Meyersdale to carry hikers and bicyclists on the Allegheny Highlands
Trail, part of the Great Allegheny Passage.
The bridge replaces a single-lane tunnel, pictured at left. The trail
right-of-way was located on top of the tunnel. Local motorists may remember
having to blow their horns to signal they were inside or entering the
tunnel, alerting any oncoming traffic.
See video of the bridge being moved.
designed his first iron bridge in 1850, and patented his unique suspension
truss form in 1852. Before the Meyersdale bridge was built, another of
his designs was constructed about 1869 over the Little Patuxent River
in Savage, Maryland, (Howard County) also by the Patapsco Bridge & Iron
Works of Baltimore. It
still stands today, having been moved from its original location in
1887. Another of his bridges spanned the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry,
West Virginia, also built for the B&O, in 1868. It was demolished, however,
remains highly regarded among civil engineers today.
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Photos by Sally Fike Statler Jones, © 2001- 2010.