This view shows the westernmost of the five stone supports of the
Both Lower and Upper bridges were over 300 feet long and
designed by Benjamin Latrobe. He based his design on a
bridge in Switzerland that employed an odd collection of diagonal struts.
In a surprising (for the B&O) cost saving move, the
structure atop these stone abutments was built of wood,
and was covered.
Unfortunately, the wood proved unacceptable, and in the 1850s
was replaced by Bollman truss bridges made of iron. They were
the second bridges on this, the second alignment.
These Bollman truss iron bridges, of which the B&O eventually built
about 100, contained many diagonal struts. It is possible that Wendell
Bollman's classic design was inspired by the original
wooden bridges that were here at Elysville.