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On October 10 the Burnside Bridge will be closed for major repairs to the historic structure. The bridge was built in 1836 and was made famous during the Battle of Antietam. In January of 2014 a section of the stone facing on the upstream side of the bridge collapsed into Antietam Creek. Temporary repairs were made and an engineering assessment of the entire structure was undertaken. The investigation revealed substantial deterioration of the walls and significant water infiltration contributing to the structural instability of the bridge. In addition, the bridge piers have voids that need to be filled to stabilize the structure.
The $1.7 million preservation project to insure the iconic bridge's long term structural stability will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 will primarily focus on in-stream work to strengthen the stone piers and arches. Portable dams will be installed in the creek to divert the water during this phase and work will continue through fall. Phase II will begin in early spring with repairs that require selectively dismantling and rebuilding sections of the bridge walls. The contract will be managed by the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center. For more information contact Park Superintendent Susan Trail at 301-432-7648 or e-mail her.