Skip to main content

The National Road - Maryland - Casselman River Bridges and Grantsville

One of the "must sees" along the National Road in Western Maryland is the Casselman River Bridges just east of Grantsville.Grantsville, MD Area (Courtesy C.C. Slater)  What makes this location unique is that within 1/4 of a mile sits three bridges from three different eras of transportation.  The area is known as 'Little Crossings', named such by George Washington in 1755.  The three bridges that cross the river include: an 80 ft stone arch bridge constructed in 1813, a truss bridge that currently carries US 40 Alt built in 1931, and finally dual spans that carry Interstate 68 built in 1976.  (See map at right.)
 
The stone arch bridge is a popular stop for photography and picnics.  When it opened in 1813, the 80 foot span was the largest of its kind in the United States.  The bridge would carry traffic for nearly 120 years when the steel truss bridge was opened within 500 feet to the south.  After sitting without use for about 20 years, the bridge was restored in the mid-1950s and is now the focal point of Casselman River Bridge State Park.
 
There is plenty to do and enjoy nearby the bridges.  On the eastern landing of the stone bridge is the Spruce Forest Artist Village.  This village features the wares of local craftsmen and artists, numerous restored buildings, and the historic Stanton's Mill.  Also part of the complex is the Penn Alps Craftshop and Restaurant.  Finally, the town of Grantsville is a classic Western Maryland village.  Grantsville has been in existence since 1785 and began as 'Cornucopia', the town is named for Daniel Grant who was given the land in 1785.  Grantsville is a historic town with plenty of inns and recreation activities nearby.

Looking west and into Casselman River Bridge State Park

Looking downstream to the 1931 US 40 Alt bridge.

From the eastern landing of the bridge.

The bridge narrows at its apex.

An upstream view of the bridge.

Wide shot of the bridge in Summer.

A closer view of the archway.


Some of the interior truss work.

Looking westbound towards the 1931 bridge.

The 1931 bridge surrounded by trees.
 



  

Site Navigation:


  • Head West into Pennsylvania
  • Head East to the Sideling Hill Cut
  • National Road Photo Essay Index

  • Sources & Links:





  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "Casselman River Bridge State Park." http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/casselman.html (October 6, 2004)
  • Casselman River Bridge State Park ---American Byways
  • Casselman River Bridge ---Maryland State Highway Administration
  • C.C. Slater ---Grantsville Area Map
  • US 40 @ MDRoads.com ---Mike Pruett 
  • Route 40 Net ---Frank Brusca 
  • Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    Goodbye Interstate 495; Hello Interstate 87

    It seems like yesterday when I blogged about new Future Interstate 495 signs that were going to be installed along US 64 along the Knightdale Bypass and along the way to Rocky Mount.  Well after just three years, Interstate 495 is officially no more.  This week NCDOT crews began to install Interstate 87 shields along the Raleigh Beltline and Knightdale Bypass from Southeast Raleigh to Rolesville Road in Wendell.  The new interstate designation follows Interstate 440 west from I-40 near Garner leaving the Beltline at the Knightdale Bypass and following US 64/264 about another 12 or so miles until the six lane portion of the Knightdale Bypass ends just beyond Business US 64.

    Eventually, Interstate 87 will continue east along US 64 past Zebulon, Rocky Mount and Tarboro to Williamston where it will head north and northeast along US 17 into Virginia and Norfolk.  The new signs reflect the first official section of Interstate 87 in North Carolina - as the Knightdale Bypass meets national I…

    The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

    For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

    After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
    What is unknown (at least to…

    Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

    Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





    That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




    Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

    1926-1930 Alignment 

    Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

    Railroad Avenue
    -  Cherry Avenue
    -  Broadway Street
    -  Divisadero Street
    -  H Street
    -  Belmont Avenue
    -  Golden State Avenue

    1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

    Sometime between 1930 to …