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

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh