But the project failed, and now county officials say the bridge is subject to demolition by neglect.
Not just a bridge
Washington County has more stone bridges than any other county in Maryland, said Merry Stinson, architectural historian and founding member of the Antietam Creek Watershed Association.
Stinson said stone bridges were eventually phased out in the early 20th century when builders started using cement.
Price's Bridge was built to replace an earlier wooden structure, Stinson said. The bridge spans the Conococheague Creek, a free-flowing stream that originates in Pennsylvania and empties into the Potomac River near Williamsport.
Rohrer said the bridge was taken "off system" after sustaining damage during Hurricane Agnes.
Renovation project fails
Rohrer was Washington County's director of public works when the effort was launched in the 1990s.
Schooley said, organizationally, the project was a mess.
Schooley and Rohrer agreed it wasn't clear who was heading up the project - local volunteers, county officials or the state government.
The project had the support of the county and state government, as well as local historians. The manpower was there. People were willing to donate labor and materials and grant money - a total of $300,000, according to documents presented to the Washington County Board of Commissioners. But Rohrer said funding was simply that - pledges. Schooley said the project never actually had money in the bank.
Still, work was started on the project. Members of the Maryland National Guard stripped away the bridge's top layer of asphalt, but that's as far as things got.
Rohrer and Schooley said bureaucracies at the state level caused the project to stall, leaving the work unfinished.
The county pulled the plug on the project in 1996, Rohrer said.
Brush now grows in place of asphalt.
Rohrer said the idea to restore the bridge came at a time when the county was in the midst of an economic slump. He said the County Commissioners were cutting budgets and other projects to stay in the black.
In July 1995, the county was forced to take over the Washington County Sanitary District, which was in $57 million in debt, Rohrer said.
"The taxpayers can't afford to save every structure," Rohrer said.
He estimated that today, the cost to restore the bridge today is between $2 million and $3 million.
The county has no plans to restore Price's Bridge. "We can't justify that kind of funding now," Rohrer said.
Schooley was more optimistic about the bridge's fate. She said she would support any new efforts to restore the bridge.
"It went through a hurricane and it's still standing," Schooley said. "It hasn't fallen down yet."