Cecil County Recognized for Commitment to Historic Preservation Following Revitalization of Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge

Press Release

Elkton, MD – The Board of Trustees of the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) has named the rehabilitation of the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge the winner of a 2011 Maryland Preservation Award for Project Excellence.  The award will be presented at the 36th Annual Maryland Preservation Awards ceremony at the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, Maryland at 4:00PM on Friday, May 20, 2011. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public.  

According to MHT, Maryland Preservation Awards are presented each year to honor outstanding people, projects, and publications that protect and revitalize Maryland’s historic places. They are the highest level of recognition for historic preservation projects and service in the state.

In his letter to Jim Mullin, President of the Board of Cecil County Commissioners, announcing the award, Harrison B. Wetherill, Jr., Chairman of the MHT Board of Trustees, stated that the MHT Board selected the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge project “Because of the exceptional quality of the workmanship and commitment to historic preservation shown by the County and the project team during the rescue and revitalization of this highly visible and significant structure. The Trust recognizes that projects of this size and magnitude are no small feats and we applaud your achievement.”  

The Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge project repaired and rehabilitated a historic covered bridge constructed in 1860, which carried highway traffic until 1936.  Because of the historical nature of the structure specialty craftsmen experienced in historical restoration had to be employed and replacement materials had to be specially constructed to replicate original materials to the maximum extent possible. The project was completed in April 2010 at a cost of $1,469,000, which coincided with the 150th anniversary of the construction of the bridge.

The project was managed by the Engineering & Construction Division of the Cecil County Department of Public Works (DPW). It was designed by the consulting engineering firm of Wallace, Montgomery and Associates, Kinsley Construction, Inc. was the general contractor with historic restoration work performed by the firm Barns and Bridges of New England. These organizations, as well as the Board of Cecil County Commissioners and the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge Committee, a private group which advocated for the project and which contributed funds toward the project cost, will receive award certificates in recognition of their efforts on the project.  

The MHT 2011 Maryland Preservation Award for Project Excellence is the fourth major award bestowed upon the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge Project. The County Engineers Association of Maryland named it the “2010 County Project of the Year” in the mid-size projects category.  The Virginia/District of Columbia/Maryland Chapter of the American Public Works Association named it the chapter’s “2010 Project of the Year (Historical Restoration Category),” and the Maryland Quality Initiative presented DPW with a 2011 Award of Excellence for the project.

The Maryland Historical Trust, an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning, is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of Maryland’s past through research, conservation, and education programs.

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