In the early days of our country, most stream crossings were fords where streams were very shallow and easily crossed without bridges. These crossings, however, were generally not in the most convenient or best locations.
During storms and periods when stream flows were high and fast, farmers and businesses transporting their goods as well as travelers would experience sometimes very long delays in their trips. Early bridges, built with timber and stone, shortened these delays and provided more continuous access to the roads. Many of these early bridges have not survived because the timber rotted and the streams often washed out bridges that were not able to pass large storm flows.
Oldest bridge in Harford County
The oldest bridge in Harford County was built about 1884 on Franklinville Road over the Little Gunpowder Falls. It is a wrought iron truss bridge with a timber deck. Other similar bridges are:
- Bottom Road over the Little Gunpowder Falls
- Cherry Hill Road over Deer Creek
- Former Carrs Mill Road over Winters Run (relocated to the Easter Farm)
- Former West Ring Factory Road over Winters Run (West Ring Factory Road Bridge is now part of a nature trail in Harford Glen)
- Green Road over Deer Creek
- Nobles Mill Road over Deer Creek
- Watervale Road over Winters Run
- Whitaker Mill Road over Winters Run
Longest bridge in Harford County
The longest bridge in Harford County is Stafford Road over Deer Creek. It is 220 feet long and has a concrete deck supported by steel beams.
The next two longest bridges are Forge Hill Road over Deer Creek (concrete deck supported on concrete arch ribs) at 210 feet and Bridge Drive over the Joppatowne Canal (concrete deck supported on steel beams) at 208 feet. The majority of the bridges in Harford County are short - more than 75% of the bridges are less than 50 feet long.
|Bridge Number||Location||Special Interest|
||Franklinville Road over Little Gunpowder Falls||Oldest bridge in Harford County.|
||Jericho Road over Little Gunpowder Falls||Timbered covered bridge.|
||Cedar Lane over tributary to Bynum Run||Steel pipe cut from the tank portion of a railroad tank car.|
||Stafford Road over Deer Creek||Longest Harford County bridge.|
||Forge Hill Road over Deer Creek||Concrete arch rib supports. Received National Honor for best renovation of an existing structure by the American Public Works Association in 2002.|
||Whitaker Mill Road over Winters Run||Bowstring truss.|
||Lake Fanny Road over Winters Run||Concrete arch bridge.|
||Watervale Road Bridge over Winters Run||Truss bridge with temporary bridge sitting inside of existing truss until new bridge construction planned for 2014.|
||Cherry Hill Road Bridge over Deer Creek||Rehabilitated truss bridge in Rocks State Park.|
||Nobles Mill Road over Deer Creek||Longest truss bridge in Harford County.|
||Abingdon Road over CSX Railroad||Girder bridge with cross beam deck support.|