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Thomas Viaduct

Engineer / Architect: Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Jr.
Location: Patapsco State Park - off Maryland Route 1 in Relay, MD
Baltimore, MD
Year Built: 1835
Structural Form: Multiple Span Curved Stone Arch Bridge
Historical Details: Thomas Viaduct was the first multiple-span masonry arch bridge built in the United States. It was also the first masonry arch bridge in the country to be built on a curved alignment. The bridge is 612 feet long, with eight spans measuring roughly 58 feet. Its maximum width is 26' - 4". The cost of the bridge at the time of construction was $142,236.51.
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: Historic American Engineering Record, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: Thomas Viaduct. HAER No. MD-3. Retrieved March 15, 2005 from: Link

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