Bollman Truss Suspension Bridge 1869, Savage, Howard County

Bollman Truss Suspension Bridge Location map of Bollman Truss Suspension Bridge

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This is the world’s only surviving example of the distinctive iron truss system pioneered by the engineer Wendel Bollman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1850. An unusual blend of cast-iron and wrought-iron bracing gives the two-span, 160-foot-long bridge a spider-web look. Bollman’s revolutionary design, a combination truss-and-suspension bridge, signaled the widespread use of iron trusses for railroad and later roadway use. This example was constructed on the B&O’s main line but was moved to its present location over the Little Patuxent River in 1887, when the railroad opened a spur line to Savage to service a busy cotton mill. Restored in 1968 and now used as a pedestrian bridge, it is a National Historic Landmark.