Cherilyn E. Widell
Bullfrog Road Bridge
Bullfrog Road, Taneytown, Frederick County
The Bullfrog Road Bridge crosses the Monocacy River on Bullfrog Road. The bridge is a rare steel Parker through truss structure in a single span of 183' in length and 16'-5" in width. It was built by the York Bridge Company of York, Pennsylvania in 1908, according to a nameplate on the bridge. The bridge is set on two random coursed stone abutments with wing walls. The bridge is a steel truss structure with riveted joints and a wood plank deck. The Parker Truss is a Pratt truss bridge with polygonal top chord similar to the camelback truss, but the level of the top chord changes at every panel.
Truss Bridges were the most popular form of bridge construction in Frederick County between the 1870s and the 1930s. The Bullfrog Road Bridge is an example of a 20th century bridge, built by the York Bridge Company of York, Pennsylvania, a company which built at least 20 different bridges for the county in the early 1900s. Most of the bridges remaining, however, are the small Pratt pony or Pratt through trusses. The Bullfrog Road bridge is unusual in that it is based on the Parker design, only one of two examples of that style in Frederick County. According to Polk's York City Directory, the York Bridge Company was most active between the years 1902 and 1917, advertising as "bridge builders, iron and steel structural work, etc." By 1917 the company had changed its name to the York Bridge and Construction Company. Because of its unique and rare design, the Bullfrog Road Bridge should be protected as an example of developing bridge engineering design.