The Carrollton Viaduct, located over the Gwynns Falls stream near Carroll Park in southwest Baltimore, Maryland, is the first stone masonry bridge built for railroad use in the United States for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, founded 1827, with construction beginning the following year and completed 1829. The bridge is named in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), of Maryland, known for being the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, the only Roman Catholic in the Second Continental Congress (1775-1781), and wealthiest man in the Thirteen Colonies of the time of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
|Total length||312 feet (95 m)|
|Height||65 feet (20 m)|
|Longest span||80 feet (24 m)|
|Clearance below||51 feet 9 inches (15.8 m)|
|Location||Gwynn's Falls near Carroll Park, Baltimore, Maryland|
|Architect||James Lloyd; Caspar Wever|
|NRHP reference #||71001032|
|Added to NRHP||November 11, 1971|
|Designated NHL||November 11, 1971|
The bridge is currently one of the world's oldest railroad bridges still in use for rail traffic, carrying loads far greater than originally envisioned. It was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence and a director of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, who laid the cornerstone on July 4, 1828. As he laid the first stone he said, "I consider this among the most important acts of my life, second only to my signing the Declaration of Independence." Builder Caspar Wever and designer James Lloyd completed the structure for the railroad in November 1829, at an officially listed cost of $58,106.73. The actual cost of the construction may have been as high as $100,000.
The bridge, 312 feet (95 m) in length, rises from its foundations about 65 feet (20 m). It is 51 feet 9 inches (15.8 m) above Gwynns Falls. It consists of a full-centered arch with a clear span length of 80 feet (24 m) over the stream, and a space for two railroad tracks on its deck. To provide an underpass for a wagon road, an arched passageway, 16 feet (5 m) in width, was built through one of the masonry-walled approaches. Originally planned as one arch of 40 feet (12 m) chord, the dimensions were enlarged to quiet the concern of the proprietor of the mills located immediately above the bridge site, who feared that 40 feet would be insufficient if the stream was flooded. The heavy granite blocks which form the arches and exterior walls were procured from Ellicott's Mills and Port Deposit. A temporary wooden framework supporting the central span held 1,500 tons (1,360 tonnes) of this stone during construction. A white cornerstone at one end of the bridge bears the inscription "James Lloyd of Maryland, Builder A.D. 1829."
Andrew Jackson, the first President of the United States to ride on a railroad train, crossed the bridge on a trip between Ellicott's Mills and Baltimore on June 6, 1833. The Carrollton Viaduct has provided continual service to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and its modern corporate successor, CSX Transportation.
In 1982 the viaduct was designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
- Baltimore Terminal Subdivision
- List of bridges documented by the Historic American Engineering Record in Maryland
- List of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in Maryland
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Maryland
- National Register of Historic Places listings in South and Southeast Baltimore
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Carrollton Viaduct". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- Johns Hopkins University, Department of Civil Engineering. "Carrollton Viaduct". Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2006.
- "1825 Skerne Bridge, Darlington".
- John Moody (1919). "The Railroad Builders". Retrieved April 6, 2006. (The HAER report states that the cornerstone was laid in May 1828.)
- Dilts, James D. (1993). The Great Road: The Building of the Baltimore & Ohio, the Nation's First Railroad, 1828-1853. Stanford University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-8047-2629-9.
- Laura Rice. Maryland History In Prints 1743-1900. p. 82.
- W. Brown Morton III (August 5, 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Carrollton Viaduct" (pdf). National Park Service.. Accompanying 2 photos, from 1971. (320 KiB)
- Works cited
- Cook, Richard J. (1987). The Beauty of Railroad Bridges in North America -- Then and Now. San Marino, California (USA): Golden West Books. ISBN 0-87095-097-5.
- Yearby, Jean P.; Edwards, Llewellyn N. (1984). "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Carrollton Viaduct" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-02. "Significance" section.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carrollton Viaduct.|
- American Society of Civil Engineers - Carrollton Viaduct
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. MD-9, "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Carrollton Viaduct, Spanning Gwynn's Falls near Carroll Park, Baltimore, Independent City, MD", 5 photos, 3 data pages, 1 photo caption page
- Carrollton Viaduct, Baltimore City, including photo, at Maryland Historical Trust