This Month In County History

1924: Bridge across the Severn opens

June 10, 2005

Former Gov. Albert C. Ritchie had the honor of driving the first automobile to traverse the Severn River bridge in 1924.

Ritchie, who was raised in Baltimore, shared the distinction with his mother, Mrs. Albert Ritchie, on June 14.

Construction of the bridge began in 1922 and cost $800,000. Its three-lane span, with pedestrian causeways, measured 1,800 feet, but its two approaches brought the total to 3,000 feet.

Along with Ritchie's ride, Maryland residents marked the opening of the bridge with a gala day, including a pageant titled "The Spirit of Transportation."

In addition, yacht, boat and swimming clubs participated in rowing, swimming and paddling contests.

A buffet supper and dance also was held at the U.S. Naval Academy, with music by the USNA band.

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