Cecil County’s Bridge to the Past: Ready for a Run Through the 21st Century

As work draws to a close on an important Cecil County restoration project, Gilpin Falls Covered Bridge, the Maryland Covered Bridges web site has posted an update on the undertaking and a photo gallery.  As of Jan 18, 2010, the final stage for the completion of the rehabilitation of the structure was underway. In addition, the Bridgewright putting the shine back on this precious resource tweeted on Jan. 27, 2010, that the master craftsmen from NH were “handing over the reins for the project and peeling off for home.”  Click here to see some of the photos and news updates.     

As links to our past disappear all too fast in the 21st century in Cecil, the old structure that survived the test of the time, the Civil War, the automobile age, floods, and lack of care is prepared for a run through the 21st century.  Since the county invests heavily in marketing Cecil to tourists, relocating BRAC workers and higher end corporations, it is our natural beauty, historical character and cultural resources that these targets groups find most appealing.  The old bridge at Gilpin Falls, a surviving relic from before the Civil War, physically enhances the county’s investment in marketing personnel and promotional advertising materials, as it stands as silent proof of the area’s history.  We’re pleased to see that the structure the Cecil Whig once identified as our own little bridge to no where nearing completion.   

Gilpin Falls Covered Bridge about 1900, courtesy of the Maryland Covered Bridge Website

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2 responses to “Cecil County’s Bridge to the Past: Ready for a Run Through the 21st Century

  1. TimAndrews, Barns & Bridges of New ENgland

    Dear Mike,
    Thanks for the post on the Gilpin’s Falls CB. Just as important as the distant history of the Gilpin’s Falls CB is the most recent history of the bridge. Allow me to lament. Kinsley Construction of Timonium MD was awarded the contract to restore the bridge. The bid documents required that either the contractor or a timber bridge specialist ( subcontractor) must have previously and successfully completed three covered bridge restoration projects in order to be eligable for award of this contract. Kinsley having completed one CB project previously, needed to team with a CB specialist in order to submit a bid. Kinsley and I entered into a contract whereby my responsabilities would be : Design ( conceptual) of the shoring system used to support the structure during restoration. Straighten and realign the trusses, introduce positive camber ( crown) into the bridge, replicate and replace in-kind defective timber. Working closely with the engineer of record ( Wallace, Montgomery) I introduced design changes that enhanced the overall project while protecting the historical significance of the structure and its relevent details. Now complete,
    Gilpin is the 12th timber bridge project I have worked on, a combination of new construction and restorations. As subcontractors to my firm, Will Truax( The Tweeter mentioned in your blog) and Jeremy Woodliff provided expert timber framing assistance with this project.Of all my bridges to date, Gilpin was the most challenging.

  2. Tim:

    Thanks for posting the recent material on the bridge. I’m still digging up material on Johnson and will post whatever I come up with on the blog. I checked the Balto Sun for obits, but didn’t have any luck.

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