Bollman Bridge

Bollman Bridge

One of the Last Iron Bridges

This 81-foot cast- and wrought-iron truss bridge is one of the few remaining bridges built by pioneering builder Wendall Bollman, a pioneer bridge builder whose patented designs were marked by and ornate cast iron end pieces, lacework, and compression members. These iron bridges were easy to erect by unskilled laborers, since each part had numbers cast into it for easy identification, and the bridges could be test-assembled ahead of time  Iron diagonals radiated down from central or end towers, and everything was held together with bolts, mortise-and-tenon joints and wrought-iron pins.  Bollman’s iron bridges were eventually replaced as railroads began to use larger, heavier, trains, and as steel replaced iron in bridge construction.  It carries the GAP over Scratch Hill Road between Meyersdale and Frostburg.

Bridge History

This Bollman Bridge was built in 1871 to carry the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad over Wills Creek east of Meyersdale, and in 1910 it was moved to carry a farm road over the B&O tracks west of Meyersdale.  Slated for demolition, the bridge was rescued and moved a second time in 2006 to serve as a bridge for the Great Allegheny Passage.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitor Information

Daily, dawn to dusk.  The closest parking is at the Meyersdale Area Historical Society, along the GAP in Meyersdale.