Bridge That Witnessed First Shots Of Civil War To Be Stabilized At Manassas National Battlefield


Pictured above: Stone masons will be making repairs on the historic stone bridge at
Manassas National Battlefield through the rest of the year/NPS

Bridge That Witnessed First Shots Of Civil War To Be Stabilized At Manassas National Battlefield

     Work is underway on nearly $1 million worth of repairs to the historic stone bridge that witnessed the first shots of the first battle of the Civil War. Located within Manassas National Battlefield in Virginia, the bridge will have its stone masonry repaired and the road surface repaved under an $817,000 contract.
     While the work is not expected to be completed before January, the bridge will remain open during most of the work, according to park staff.
     Missing and damaged stones on the exterior of the bridge will be replaced and repaired using techniques employed when the bridge was completed in the 1880s. Additional work includes repairing damage to the center pier caused by years of erosion and replacing the deteriorating cement coating on the underside of the bridge. While some contemporary methods and materials will be used to ensure long-term durability, this work will not change the bridge’s historic look and feel. 
     For one to two weeks in late November and/or early December, the bridge will close while crews replace the surface people walk across. For safety, visitors are reminded to remain cognizant of the construction work and follow any detour or routing directions. The parking area near the bridge will remain open throughout the project.
     During the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), Union artillerists positioned east of the bridge fired the opening shots of the battle over the stream crossing on the morning of July 21, 1861. Originally built around 1825, Stone Bridge survived the First Battle of Manassas only to have Confederate forces destroy the span in March 1862. Union army engineers constructed a temporary wooden span over the bridge ruins in 1862, and the Union Army of Virginia used this wooden bridge during the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) in late August 1862. The present-day Stone Bridge was completed in the 1880s on the site of the earlier bridge, and remained open to vehicles until the mid-1920s.
     This important project was funded, in part, through a Virginia Department of Transportation, Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

Below: The bridge was destroyed by Confederation forces in 1862/NPS