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Carrollton Viaduct

Engineer / Architect: Casper Weaver (builder); James Lloyd (designer)
Location: CSX over Gwynn's Falls: accessed through Carroll Park - near intersection of Washington Blvd and I-95
Baltimore, MD
Year Built: 1828-29
Structural Form: Single span stone arch bridge
Historical Details: Carrollton Viaduct was the first masonry arch railroad bridge built in the United States. It is still in use today. The bridge is 312 feet long, with a clear span of 80 feet over Gwynn's Falls. The arch was constructed with the use of wooden false work laid in the stream. The false work was required to carry a load of approximately 1500 tons. The cost of the bridge upon completion was $58,106.73.
Technical Details: The shape of an arch is ideal in masonry construction because vertical dead and live loads are converted into compressive forces (the only kind of force that unreinforced masonry can resist) along the arch. The compressive forces are in turn resisted by the foundations at both ends of the arch.
Image Source(s): Rachel Sangree
References: J. Dorsey and J.D. Dilts, A Guide to Baltimore Architecture (Third Edition), Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD (1997), p. 236;
Historic American Engineering Record, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: Carrollton Viaduct. HAER No. MD-9. Retrieved March 15, 2005 from: Link

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