"Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent" Top 5 Page for this destination Solomons Island Travelogue by grandmaR
Solomons Island Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 255 photos
Looking from the top of the bridge toward Back Creek. You can see the sailboat masts sticking up above the trees.
The Patuxent River is very deep and fast flowing - deeper, but narrower than the Potomac which is on the other side of St. Mary's County. This is the view from the top towards Solomon's Island and the Calvert County side of the bridge.
Point Patience, just upstream of the Thomas Johnson bridge on the Patuxent, is a long skinny sandy point of land. There is a daymark stuck in the sand at the end of the bar which is only in a couple feet of water. But just to the south of the marker (within about 10 feet) the water is 120 feet deep. My SIL can't get over this point - he thinks it would be an amazing spot for fishing.
The Tri-County Council (St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles County) takes credit for the construction of this bridge. They say that they secured funds for State construction of the Lower Patuxent River Bridge (the Governor Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge), connecting Solomons Island and Lexington Park. They say that from 1966 until its dedication and opening in late 1977 they were on the job getting this bridge built because it was a vital link in the completion of Southern Maryland's regional highway network.
In truth, the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge (aka the Patuxent River Bridge) did make it possible to get from St. Mary's County to Solomon's Island without making a 50 some mile drive all the way from Lexington Park up to Hughesville and driving across the Benedict bridge to Prince Frederick and then driving down the other side. This was a great convenience.
Before the bridge was built, there was a ferry that connected Solomons to St. Mary's County across the Patuxent River.
Soon after the bridge was constructed however it was noted with horror that the supports right under the bridge were cracking
It was necessary to close the bridge to automobile traffic and repair the bridge. What they did was put metal bands around the top of the supports.
I had a roll of film to finish up before we took off down the ICW, so I drove over to Solomons and took some pictures of the bridge from the boat launch ramp area. The metal bands which can be seen in the photo above are not as obvious in this picture. They are over the channel farther along the bridge.
The bridge is named after the first governor of Maryland and is between 140 and 80 feet up. Even so it often looks as if our 58 feet mast will hit it. Perspective is deceiving.
But there's never been any question that we wouldn't make it under the bridge
The sun was setting in the west, so I took a photo of the reflection of the sunset in the water. The Patuxent Bridge is in the distance.
If you traveled by car before the bridge was built, it would take over 2 hours to get to a town across the river. Now it takes 25 minutes.
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Written Aug 18, 2005
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