Not all of Maryland’s bridges are in disrepair and crumbling like Solomon’s Bridge; some have stood the test of time

Wilson Bridge, the oldest and perhaps the most graceful of Washington County’s limestone arches, was considered a modern marvel at the time of its completion in 1819. Its fine workmanship, by the mason Silas Harry, served as a pattern for some thirty stone bridges that would follow in the region. The five-arch, 210-foot-long bridge carried the state-chartered National Pike (later designated US 40) over Conococheague Creek to join the National Road at Cumberland, providing a pivotal link between eastern seaport cities and western markets. Wilson Bridge was bypassed in 1936, when US 40 was rerouted and a newer bridge built downstream. It remained open for local traffic until 1972, when flood damage from Tropical Storm Agnes relegated it to foot traffic.

Wilson Bridge, the oldest and perhaps the most graceful of Washington County’s limestone arches, was considered a modern marvel at the time of its completion in 1819. Its fine workmanship, by the mason Silas Harry, served as a pattern for some thirty stone bridges that would follow in the region. The five-arch, 210-foot-long bridge carried the state-chartered National Pike (later designated US 40) over Conococheague Creek to join the National Road at Cumberland, providing a pivotal link between eastern seaport cities and western markets. Wilson Bridge was bypassed in 1936, when US 40 was rerouted and a newer bridge built downstream. It remained open for local traffic until 1972, when flood damage from Tropical Storm Agnes relegated it to foot traffic.
President Woodrow Wilson, left, rides with President-elect Warren Harding to the new president's inauguration. Wilson Bridge over the Potomac in Washington was named for Wilson when it opened for traffic in 1961. A new bridge replaced it in 2007.  Library of Congress

President Woodrow Wilson, left, rides with President-elect Warren Harding to the new president’s inauguration. Wilson Bridge over the Potomac in Washington was named for Wilson when it opened for traffic in 1961. A new bridge replaced it in 2007. Library of Congress
Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement was built higher from the water and is opened less frequently for ships.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement was built higher from the water and is opened less frequently for ships. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Francis Scott Key Bridge, named for the lawyer who penned the Star Spangled Banner, the National Anthem, carries traffic on the Baltimore Md. Beltway to the east of the city. Ships to the busy port pass underneath.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Francis Scott Key Bridge, named for the lawyer who penned the Star Spangled Banner, the National Anthem, carries traffic on the Baltimore Md. Beltway to the east of the city. Ships to the busy port pass underneath. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Francis Scott Key Bridge at Baltimore is one of Maryland's most impressive bridges.

Francis Scott Key Bridge at Baltimore is one of Maryland’s most impressive bridges. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Francis Scott Key Bridge as viewed from the Grandeur of The Seas as it sails from Baltimore. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Francis Scott Key Bridge as viewed from the Grandeur of The Seas as it sails from Baltimore. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Eastport Bridge over Spa Creek at Annapolis, opens for boat traffic. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Eastport Bridge over Spa Creek at Annapolis, opens for boat traffic. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Eastport Bridge at Spa Creek opens for this sailboat. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Eastport Bridge at Spa Creek opens for this sailboat. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Benedict Bridge deck repaving and repair. This draw bridge swing span carries Rt. 231 over the Patuxent River near where the British fleet landed during the War of 1812 and then invaded Washington, D.C.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Benedict Bridge deck repaving and repair. This draw bridge swing span carries Rt. 231 over the Patuxent River near where the British fleet landed during the War of 1812 and then invaded Washington, D.C. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

 

Benedict Bridge open for boat

The Benedict Bridge opens for a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel taking Congressman Steny Hoyer and a group of local officials on a tour of the Patuxent River to view projects needed. The bridge swings open for boat traffic. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River was closed in 1988 after only being open for 11 years when severe cracks developed in the pier supports. This close up shows steel bands which were wrapped around the piers. Huge holes are in the underwater sections of the supports. Plans for a replacement bridge have been bounced around for ten years with no action.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River was closed in 1988 after only being open for 11 years when severe cracks developed in the pier supports. This close up shows steel bands which were wrapped around the piers. Huge holes are in the underwater sections of the supports. Plans for a replacement bridge have been bounced around for ten years with no action. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River at Solomon's Island. In spite of being located in the district of one of the most influential members of Congress, Steny Hoyer, proposals for a replacement or second span lanquish as billions have been spent on other pet projects of the area's leading politicians.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River at Solomon’s Island. In spite of being located in the district of one of the most influential members of Congress, Steny Hoyer, proposals for a replacement or second span lanquish as billions have been spent on other pet projects of the area’s leading politicians. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge. These steel bands hold the bridge together which was designed by Century Engineering which ought to change their name to "Decade" Engineering. That is how long it took before the bridge was closed to traffic for three months while repairs were made. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge. These steel bands hold the bridge together which was designed by Century Engineering which ought to change their name to “Decade” Engineering. That is how long it took before the bridge was closed to traffic for three months while repairs were made. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge from the air looking north towards the boat ramps and fishing pier on the Calvert County side of the Patuxent. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.
Howard Street Bridge in Baltimore

Howard Street Bridge in Baltimore
Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge at Morgantown takes Rt. 301 from Maryland to Virginia.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge at Morgantown takes Rt. 301 from Maryland to Virginia. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
The Maryland Transportation Authority operates Maryland's bridges and tunnels. This is toll booth complex for the Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge to Virginia.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Maryland Transportation Authority operates Maryland’s bridges and tunnels. This is toll booth complex for the Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge to Virginia. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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