Skip to main content

Roddy Road Covered Bridge - Thurmont, Maryland

 


At a span of 39 feet and 4 inches, the Roddy Road Covered Bridge is the shortest covered bridge in the State of Maryland. The Kingpost truss designed covered bridge on Roddy Road crosses Owens Creek, just north of Thurmont and not far from US 15. While the original covered bridge was replaced with a replica covered bridge in 2017, the original covered bridge was built during the 1850s. The builder and year of construction for the original Roddy Road Covered Bridge are unknown, but most historians have set the build date either around 1850 or in 1856, about the same time that the nearby Loys Station and Utica Mills Covered Bridges were built.

While the usual wear and tear over the years plus damage from over height vehicles seem to tell the tale of this bridge, it is a commonly held belief that Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry crossed the Roddy Road Covered Bridge on July 5, 1863 during the Gettysburg campaign of the Civil War. There are no records indicating any battles took place at or near the bridge. That is probably the most exciting event to happen relating the Roddy Road Covered Bridge. 

Steel beams were added under the bridges flooring for support during the early 1930s and were twice replaced due to corrosion. Steel beams were first replaced during the a rehabilitation project in 1979 and 1980. Unfortunately, errors were made while repairing the bridge by setting the four corner posts in concrete, resulting in trapped moisture at the base of the posts and the end of the bottom chords causing the wood to rot. In March 1992, an oversized truck damaged the bridge roof and truss, closing the bridge to traffic. Repairs were done through the help and effort of many volunteers and the bridge was able to reopen in October of the same year.

In 2011, the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program awarded a $176,400 grant to Frederick County for repairs to Utica Mills, Roddy Road and Loys Station Covered Bridges. Frederick County kicked in another $44,100 to bring the total funding amount to $220,500. The contract to repair the bridges was awarded to Kingsley Construction, Inc. Work began to rehabilitate Roddy Road Bridge in June 2015 and this work included installing interior fire retardant, an exterior paint job using red paint, a fire alarm system in case of mischievous arsonists, timber guard rail along Roddy Creek Road, and toe wall for scour protection at the north abutment of the bridge.

However, the repairs to the bridge were short lived, as an oversized truck damaged Roddy Road Bridge on May 18, 2016. While damage to the portal boards were quickly repaired, another oversized truck heavily damaged the bridge just one month later on June 16, 2016. This time the damage was extensive. Talk about bad luck! In addition to ripping off the portal board and breaking roof braces, a lot of the wood was twisted from the damage caused by the truck. The bridge was dismantled in October 2016 to examine the heavy timber pieces for possible reuse in reconstruction of the covered bridge. It was determined the timber was not reusable so all new timber was used to rebuild a replica covered bridge. Construction of the new Roddy Road Bridge was completed in April 2017 by Heavy Timber Construction of Frederick, Maryland.

In addition to a completely new Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Roddy Creek Road was redirected to make it safer to enter the bridge from the north end, a new park was built that includes restrooms, playground, a short walking trail and a parking lot. Bars were also placed at both ends of the bridge to help prevent oversized trucks from entering the bridge, thus ensuring the health and longevity of the covered bridge for years to come.

Pictures show in this article are from March 2015, so they are of the original Roddy Road Covered Bridge.





How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Visit Frederick - Roddy Road Covered Bridge
Bridgehunter.com - Roddy Road Covered Bridge 20-10-02
Maryland Covered Bridges - Roddy Road Covered Bridge #1
Maryland Covered Bridges - Roddy Road Covered Bridge #2

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del