Skip to main content

Oldtown Toll Bridge - Maryland and West Virginia

 


The Oldtown Toll Bridge linking Oldtown, Maryland over the Potomac River with neighboring Green Spring, West Virginia is only one of a few truly privately owned toll bridges located in the United States. It's a simple bridge by design, as the 318 foot long Oldtown Toll Bridge is a low water bridge. Low water bridges are designed to allow water to safely and efficiently flow over the bridge deck. Additionally, a dozen concrete pedestals have been secured in the Potomac River in order to support the bridge and wooden deck.

The bridge was constructed in 1937 when a gentleman by the name of Mr. Carpenter obtained the proper permits to build the Bridge through an Act of Congress. This was a blessing for residents, especially on the West Virginia side of the Potomac River, as it saved motorists commuting to Cumberland an hour in travel time. Using Mr. Carpenter's blueprints, the Army Corp of Engineers and a number of local laborers constructed the bridge and it remained under the same ownership for 34 years until 1971.

Later, in 1987, Charles Walters purchased the bridge. When he passed away in 1991, his wife, Frances inherited the business operations of the bridge. After this, the bridge almost went under a wrecking ball when the county commissioners cited the bridge to be unsafe and put up barricades to prevent travel across the bridge. However, the barricades did not stop people from using the bridge as they were accustomed to travel across the Oldtown Toll Bridge. The people took down the barricades and crossed the bridge anyway during this period. The bridge was restored in 1999 with grants from both West Virginia and Maryland.

Today, the Oldtown Toll Bridge remains as a popular and unique way to travel across the Potomac River. Local businesses and residents depend on the bridge to make travel to such destinations as Cumberland, Maryland a relatively quick jaunt. The bridge's location down the road from Lock 70 of the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal makes this a historically interesting area to visit. The Oldtown Toll Bridge also has a number of campsites nearby, and the bridge is also used for recreational purposes along the Potomac River, such as for boating or fishing. I had the opportunity to check out this simple bridge over Memorial Day Weekend in 2022 and had an enjoyable time finding out what the Oldtown Toll Bridge is all about.


The toll booth for the Oldtown Toll Bridge is located on the Maryland side of the bridge. While there is no electronic tolling, you can pay your toll with cash or card.

Toll rates for the Oldtown Toll Bridge as of May 2022.

Approaching the Oldtown Toll Bridge from the Maryland side of the river.

Looking at the Oldtown Toll Bridge from the Maryland bank of the Potomac River.

Looking at the Oldtown Toll Bridge from the Maryland bank of the Potomac River.

Looking west at the Potomac River. The river is rather peaceful here.

Approaching the bridge from the West Virginia side of the Potomac River.

Looking at the Oldtown Toll Bridge from the West Virginia bank of the Potomac River.


How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Bridgehunter.com - Oldtown Low-Water Toll Bridge
HistoricBridges.org - Oldtown Toll Bridge
Maryland Office of Tourism - Old Town Historical Toll Bridge
Oldtown Historic Toll Bridge - History
WV Uncovered on YouTube - Oldtown Toll Bridge

Comments

Br0kenR0ads said…
CHEcK OUT this video of crossing the old town toll bridge.
Br0kenR0ads said…
https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRkFBhCr/?k=1
Unknown said…
Good report I've crossed this bridge many times

Popular posts from this blog

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California.  As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles.  US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street.  California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street.  US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.   Pictured above is the cover of the September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works which features construction of the Paso Robles Bypass.  Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County which depicts US Route 101 and California State Route 41 intersecting in downtown Paso Robles.   Part 1; the history of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 in Paso Robles Paso Robles ("Pass of the

Paper Highways; US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass

The 8,431-foot-high Teton Pass lies in the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains within Teton County, Wyoming.  Presently Teton Pass is crossed by Wyoming Highway 22 and Idaho State Highway 33.  At one point the highway over Teton Pass was signed as US Route 20 Alternate.  US Route 20 Alternate was over Teton Pass never formally approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials nor has the corridor ever been officially part of a US Route.  The image above was taken from the 1949 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana which shows US Route 20 Alternate branching from US Route 20/US Route 191 near Sugar City, Idaho and crossing Teton Pass towards Jackson, Wyoming.   Part 1; the history of US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass No major Auto Trail was ever assigned to Teton Pass as evidenced by the 1925 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming .  On the Wyoming side Teton Pass can be seen as part of Wyoming Highway 25 ("WY 25") whereas no State Highway is