Cherilyn E. Widell
Poffenberger Road Bridge
Poffenberger Road, Middletown, Frederick County
The Poffenberger Road Bridge crosses the Catoctin Creek at Poffenberger Road near Middletown. It is an iron single span, Double Intersection Pratt (or Whipple) through truss bridge, built c. 1878 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. The bridge is set on two random-coursed stone abutments with wing wall approaches which appear to date from the original construction of the bridge. The Poffenberger Bridge is an unusually large structure for its location, and was probably built in part to service the business generally operated by nearby Lewis Mill.
The Poffenberger Road Bridge may be the only Double Intersection Pratt truss bridge still standing in Maryland. The Poffenberger Bridge is also one of the earliest dated bridges in the region, having been built in 1878. The Poffenberger Road Bridge is important as an example of 19th century iron truss bridges in Frederick County, not only because of its very early date, but also because of its unusual Double Intersection Pratt truss design.