Ches. City bridge project to bring de­lays

Five-month re­hab to start later this month

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— Res­i­dents of the south­ern county will have to soon grow ac­cus­tomed to a new headache as the U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers closes one lane of the Ch­e­sa­peake City Bridge over the C&D Canal for the bet­ter part of five months dur­ing a re­paint­ing project.

Af­ter re­cently fin­ish­ing

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

the three-year re­paint­ing project on the Sum­mit Bridge, which car­ries Delaware Route 896 over the canal, and the Reedy Point Bridge, which car­ries Delaware Route 9, the Corps turned its fo­cus to a re­quest for the 67-year-old Mary­land bridge.

Corps of­fi­cials met with town of­fi­cials last week to up­date them on the project that was orig­i­nally billed to start last fall, but has been de­layed un­til now. Crews with Cor­con Inc., an Ohiobased con­struc­tion firm that spe­cial­izes in bridge painting and has com­pleted ma­jor projects like the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadel­phia and the Brook­lyn Bridge in New York City, will be­gin the $6.8 mil­lion project in mid-April, al­though a firm date has not been de­cided, said Tim Boyle, a Corps spokesman.

Crews will work at least five days a week — pos­si­bly six to ex­pe­dite work — on the project that is ex­pected to end shortly af­ter La­bor Day. With crews work­ing

Ge­orge Ka­plan, site cap­tain for the clean up be­hind St. Mary Anne’s Epis­co­pal Church, said he has been a cap­tain with the project for three years. He and his group cleaned up be­hind the church and the creek that leads to the Lit­tle North­east Creek, next to Par­adise Grill.

Sara Ho­gate, a Delaware res­i­dent, and her boyfriend, Clay Troy, a North East res­i­dent, were part of Ka­plan’s group. They are both mem­bers of the as­so­ci­a­tion, but this was their first time in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cleanup.

“Ac­tu­ally, we use the water­ways very fre­quently,” Ho­gate said.

She said they pad­dle board, fish and go boat­ing, so they have per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence see­ing how badly the water­ways need a cleanup.

“It’s so gross. You want to go out there for a re­lax­ing day and there’s trash ev­ery­where,” Ho­gate said.

She said she and Troy take the ex­tra step and carry a trash bag and clean up trash when they go out. Ho­gate said the pro­gram is pow­er­ful and im­por­tant for the town and wa­ter­sheds to take lit­ter­ing se­ri­ously.

Also on Satur­day, Friends of the Bo­hemia Inc. cleaned up along Route 213, near the bridge and Bo­hemia Mill Pond.

Chuck Fos­ter, di­rec­tor of Friends of the Bo­hemia, said 24 vol­un­teers came to help the ef­fort.

In to­tal, the two trash piles from the two sites was 940 pounds of trash, Fos­ter said. He said 78 bags of trash and mis­cel­la­neous other items such as sheet metal the tire and rim and some bro­ken up fur­ni­ture were taken to the land­fill.

Fos­ter said items such as a golf cart roof, a sy­ringe, sheet metal and a crab line tied to a tree were found dur­ing the clean up. He also said about 500 cig­a­rette butts, about 150 bot­tles and cans and over 100 plas­tic bags were also col­lected.

“There’s no amount of money that we can pay to fix this,” Fos­ter said.

He said trash and de­bris makes its way to the wa­ter­shed and into the bay at some point.

Site cap­tain Tom Payne and his wife, Elise, Ch­e­sa­peake City res­i­dents, came to help the ef­fort. Elise said two trucks beeped and wave at her as she was clean­ing up.

John Hagee, North East res­i­dent, put it sim­ply as to why he was a first-time vol­un­teer clean­ing up.

“I just think it’s a good civic thing to do,” Hagee said.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

A re­paint­ing project tar­get­ing the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing pedes­trian rail­ings seen here will close one lane of the Ch­e­sa­peake City Bridge for five months start­ing in a few weeks.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHUCK FOS­TER

Vol­un­teers with the Friends of the Bo­hemia Inc. hauled away sev­eral hun­dreds pounds of trash and de­bris from sites along Route 213.

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