Morgantown Travel Guide

  • Toll booths for southbound traffic ahead
    Toll booths for southbound traffic ahead
    by grandmaR
  • Power plant from the road
    Power plant from the road
    by grandmaR
  • Approaching Maryland on the bridge
    Approaching Maryland on the bridge
    by grandmaR

Morgantown Things to Do

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 27, 2011

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    Virtually the only thing in Morgantown is the power plant. The Mirant Morgantown Generating Station is listed as a point of interest in Charles County. The power plant is highly visible from both the bridge and the river.

    I have actually been to the power plant (as an OSHA inspector) when they were re-habbing the boilers. The plant uses coal which is brought in on rail cars. My son used to work there for a contractor. Since I was there, PEPCO (Potomac Electric Power Co.) which sold the plant to to the Southern Company in December 2000 as a result of the restructuring of the electricity generating industry in Maryland. The station was included in the Mirant spin-off in April 2001. It was sometimes referred to as the Pope's Creek Power Plant.

    The facility consists of two base loaded 624 MW coal-fired steam generating units, four 65 MW oil-fired peaking combustion units, and two 18 MW black start peaking turbines. The two coal-fired units are base-loaded supercritical steam units which went into operation in 1970 and 1971. The four peaking units are General Electric Frame 7 units which went into operation in 1973, while the two black start peaking units are General Electric Frame 5 units which went into operation in 1970 and 1971.

    Coal is delivered to the Morgantown generating station by CSX Transportation train using the Pope's Creek Subdivision rail line. Construction of a coal barge unloading pier on the Potomac River began in 2007.

    Their website says: Morgantown Station voluntarily installed electrostatic precipitators, nearly eradicating flyash with a 99.5% reduction. The plant also collects and treats runoff and wastewater, protecting the Potomac River from contamination.

    Mirant's Morgantown generating plant was ranked as the best coal-fired plant in terms of heat-rate efficiency in the United States in Electric Power & Light magazine's 2004 survey of power plants

    Power plant from the road Rising from the mist Power plant from the river taking a picture from the bridge Back in 2004
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Morgantown Hotels

Morgantown Transportation

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    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Potomac River Bridge on US 301 is actually named the Harry W. Nice Bridge. Harry was a Governor of MD. Many of the bridges in MD seemed to be named after ex-governors (the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is the Gov Preston Lane Bridge, and the Patuxent River Bridge (Rt. 4) is the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge.

    Virginia end of the bridge Going under the bridge One of the bridge fenders Looking under the bridge to Aqua Land Sign on the bridge
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Morgantown Local Customs

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    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The bridge marks the dividing line between the Lower Potomac Estuary and the Upper Estuary. It is the only Potomac crossing below Washington. It was espoused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Nice who was then Governor of Maryland

    At approximately this point, a famous ferry ran from Morgantown, Md. to Mathias Point (photo 4) in Virginia, as early as 1705. The ferry was part of the shortest route between the capitals of Maryland and Virginia (Annapolis and Richmond) and served as a principal link in the journeys of many early Americans, including George Washington, George Mason, and other founding fathers.

    The site of one of the river crossings by John Wilkes Booth after his assassination of Abraham Lincoln is upstream a short way from here at Pope's Creek.

    The Harry W. Nice Bridge is operated by the Maryland Transportation Authority. Tolls are $3.00 for cars, collected southbound only.

    Governor Nice Bridge from the Potomac Going through the toll booth in the rain Mathias Point spider
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Morgantown Warnings and Dangers

  • Holiday Traffic Jam

    U.S. 301 in Maryland and Virginia is a four lane divided (but not a limited access) highway. The bridge, however, is only 2 lanes. That means that all the traffic (no matter whether coming north or south) has to funnel down from 2 lanes to one lane. This is worse on the Virginia side IMO because the Maryland side has the toll booths to shuffle the...

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  • Go North

    This is a toll bridge, but they only collect the toll going south from Morgantown to Dahlgren VA, and not the other way. So if you plans work out that way, you will avoid the toll if you go south on some other road.The left-hand toll lane is for EZ Pass and if you have one of those it will be much faster.

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  • Morgantown Hotels

    1 Hotels in Morgantown

Morgantown Off The Beaten Path

  • Welcome Center

    US 301 is called Crain Highway in Maryland.Crain Memorial Welcome Center is located approximately two miles north of the Potomac River on northbound U.S. 301 in Charles County Maryland, this facility is the gateway into Southern Maryland from Virginia. It isn't directly visible from the highway - you have to look for the signsThis center has...

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  • Albemarle Barge Boat Station and ATONs

    From the bridge you may be able to see barges which are waiting to go up or down the river. You can also see some of the Aids TO Navigation (ATONs). There is a green spider downstream from the bridge and there is another green spider upstream. [Green means that it is on the south side of the river.] The numbering starts at the mouth of the Potomac...

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Morgantown Sports & Outdoors

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    by grandmaR Updated Sep 30, 2008

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    Every time we cross the 301 bridge to Virginia, I see this marina out of the window (photo 2 and photo 5).

    I've never had our boat here, but the Potomac River Guide says: "A large, full-service marina operates on the north side of the Potomac River Bridge carrying U.S. 301. The marina services large power boats and sailing vessels, and also has boats for rent. A campground is available for recreational vehicles"

    Equipment: A diagram of the marina is in picture 4

    Marina from the bridge 2008 Marina from the bridge Marina from the water Diagram of the marina 10 years ago Marina from the bridge 2005
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Morgantown Favorites

  • Waverly

    Waverley is a large two-story brick house on Waverly Point Road, in Morgantown. It is in the National Register of Historic Places. I have not been there (yet).Under constructionThe five-bay, Flemish-bond principal facade of the main block, facing the Potomac River, has a centered, elliptically headed entrance framed by paneled jambs and headed by a...

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  • Potomac River Bridge

    The Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge is where US 301 crosses the Potomac River. The 1.7 mile bridge was opened to traffic in December 1940 and links Maryland and Virginia. It was originally called the Potomac River Toll Bridge but was renamed in 1967 by the State Roads Commission for Harry W. Nice (1877-1941), who served as governor from 1935...

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