2 votes

Monocacy River Bridge


Photo taken by Daniel McFarland


BH Photo #141402

Street Views 


Through truss bridge over Monocacy River on MD 28
Frederick County, Maryland
Open to traffic
Built 1931
Three riveted, 8-panel Camelback Pratt through trusses
Length of largest span: 149.9 ft.
Total length: 445.9 ft.
Deck width: 26.9 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.24500, -77.44000   (decimal degrees)
39°14'42" N, 77°26'24" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/289433/4346802 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory number
BH 19672 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 34.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 10, 2014: New photo from Andrew Raker
  • August 16, 2010: New Street View added by Matthew Lohry
  • June 14, 2009: New photos from Daniel McFarland
  • January 27, 2009: New photos from Daniel McFarland


  • Daniel McFarland
  • Matt Lohry
  • Andrew Raker


Monocacy River Bridge
Posted February 16, 2017, by Matt Lohry

I've even seen that minor roadway cracking that happens to be on a bridge deck surface can render it as "structurally deficient". It does not say "structurally unsafe". As Nathan and Robert pointed out, it simply means that the bridge needs some sort of repair. When the sufficiency percentage falls below a certain point, the status becomes "structurally deficient". I don't know what that number is. In contrast, "functionally obsolete" does NOT mean structurally deficient--this simply means that the design of the bridge does not meet current FHA/DOT standards. Such factors as low overhead clearance, narrow lane widths, or lack of shoulders can be determining factors of functional obsolescence. A bridge can be in perfect structural condition and still be considered functionally obsolete.

Monocacy River Bridge
Posted February 16, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I also wish to make it absolutely clear that "Structurally Deficient" does NOT mean that a bridge is unsafe for use. In the United States all bridges that are structurally unsafe are immediately closed to traffic. All structurally deficient bridges are safe for use if they are open to traffic and users follow all posted signage for weight and overhead clearance is obeyed. Structurally Deficient is just a fancy way of saying "needs some repair" in the same way your house might need some repairs, but yet at the same time is not unsafe to continue living in until you get around to making those repairs.

Monocacy River Bridge
Posted February 16, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The term, structurally deficient, can sound scary. In truth, many bridges that are structurally deficient can be repaired. A lot of times, the reason a bridge gets listed as structurally deficient is due to deterioration on the bottom chord or the deck stringers. In these instances, the rest of the bridge may be in great shape. I am not a bridge inspector so I don't know the situation with this one.

Monocacy River Bridge
Posted February 16, 2017, by Anonymous

Structurally deficient means your trucks can't keep getting bigger and heavier because of design loading. Functionally obsolete means more of the same, not designed for modern traffic. Fracture critical doesn't mean it's going to fall down tomorrow, either. Engineering terms.

Monocacy River Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by Martha Kirkpatrick (marti [dot] kirkpatrick [at] verizon [dot] net)

Because I, and a lot of heavy trucks and commuter traffic cross this bridge a lot and it's listed here as Appraisal: Structurally deficient, might it be replaced before it falls in the river, and if so when please? I don't see it listed on the county master plan.