Rating:
1 vote

WM - C&P Wills Creek Bridge

Photos 

1. AERIAL VIEW OF BRIDGE, LOOKING SOUTHEAST HAER MD,1-CUMB.V,1-1

HAER

View this photo at lcweb2.loc.gov

BH Photo #190874

Map 

Street View 

Description 

FROM HAER: Significance: The Wills Creek Bridge is located in the Cumberland and Pennsylvania subdivision of the Western Maryland Railway Company. It is a brick arch viaduct of four spans, each 45 feet in length. The abutments and piers, of which there are three, are built of stone ashlar laid in cement mortar. Except in 1915, when the brickwork of the structure was pointed, it is unchanged. A recent survey showed that the viaduct vibrates considerably when an engine passes over it, the bricks are soft, and the arches require training.

Facts 

Location
Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland
Status
Demolished Jan. 1998
History
Built in 1860, repointed in 1915. By 1984 it was in need of major attention by specialized workers; demolished by CSX Jan. 1998
Builder
- Maryland Mining Co.
Railroads
- Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad (C&P)
- Western Maryland Railway (WM)
Design
Brick arch viaduct of four spans with abutments and piers, of which there are three, are built of stone ashlar laid in cement mortar.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 45.0 ft.
Total length: 246.7 ft.
Also called
C&P Eckhart Branch
Narrows Viaduct
Eckhart Branch Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.67054, -78.79012   (decimal degrees)
39°40'14" N, 78°47'24" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/689546/4393525 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Cumberland
Inventory number
BH 19531 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 02/2011)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 71.2 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
12,921

Update Log 

  • January 22, 2017: Updated by Luke: Added Maryland Inventory of Historic Bridges number
  • November 1, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • July 26, 2016: New photo from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • July 22, 2016: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Added demolition date and more history sources
  • June 23, 2013: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added additional names
  • June 14, 2013: Updated by Jodi Christman: Updated JC notes (made by self)
  • May 4, 2013: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added category "HAER documented"
  • December 26, 2010: New photos from Jodi Christman

Sources 

Comments 

WM - C&P Wills Creek Bridge
Posted January 3, 2017, by Mike Piontka (Spginc [at] comcast [dot] net)

From what I've been able to gather, the bridge or viaduct, was built by the Maryland Mining Company of Eckhart Mines. The company owned the Eckhart Branch Railroad, which built from Eckhart to Wills Creek, along Braddock Run, in 1846. The company then built a line across Wills Creek, the viaduct shown, and named the new railroad extension, The Potomac Wharf Branch. It opened to the Potomac Wharf in Cumberland by 1850. So, the viaduct was constructed between 1846 and 1850.

In 1870, the railroad was absorbed into the Cumberland and Pennsylvania (C&P) Railroad.

WM - C&P Wills Creek Bridge
Posted March 2, 2016, by John

This bridge was torn down in the late 1990's. It was determined to be the cause of the backup of water that occurred upstream along Wills Creek during the major flood of 1996. http://www.times-news.com/news/memories-of-the-flood-where-s...

When it was torn down, the bridge had not seen a train in over a decade. An increased rail shipping costs in the late '70s caused the last customers in Narrows Park (lower LaVale) to end getting rail shipments, and the railroad to abandon the line.

Wills Creek Bridge
Posted June 23, 2013, by Jodi Christman (masterofchaos [at] outlook [dot] com)

Thanks for your help Angela. I visited Cumberland, MD last weekend and learned a lot about the transportation, including bridges. I have corrected the bridge data since.

Wills Creek Bridge
Posted November 16, 2012, by Angela M. P. (pacelliangela [at] gmail [dot] com)

The photos on this page are not for the bridge that is described. Instead, the photos were of a viaduct that was used for trains and was located at +39 40' 13.96", -78 47' 24.53". The Locust Grove Road bridge was built next to the viaduct featured in the photos. (You can see both the Locust Grove Road Bridge and the viaduct in photo 1.) This viaduct was torn down in (or around?) 2009. This webpage has information about the viaduct featured in the photos, and a photo of the remaining bases: http://korns.org/misc/cumberland_viaducts/viaduct.html

Anyway, from the bit of research I've done, it seems as if multiple bridges are and were known as the Wills Creek Bridge. :)