Bridge project will be put on hold for July Fourth holiday
— The fireworks will be flying, and the bridge will be open for Independence Day celebrations in canal town.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials started their Chesapeake City Bridge repainting project in early June. Town officials were concerned that the project would put a serious damper on their fireworks and festivities, which this year are planned for the Friday before July Fourth. The nearest detour back to Route 213 is nearly 12 miles away using the Summit Bridge in Delaware.
However, the Army Corps of Engineers and its bridge repair contractors will remove their equipment from the bridge on Thursday and re- install it on July 6, enabling the bridge to have two open lanes for the Independence Day holiday weekend. Railing repairs, replacements and painting will resume after the holiday and continue on until completion in early fall.
As the annual patriotic celebration typically draws thousands to Chesapeake City, Carla Miners, the economic development director for Chesapeake City, said she wrote a letter to the Corps saying it was essentially “not an option” to have the bridge closed for the holiday.
She said the campaign to put a pause on the project was “a major group effort” between town hall, the fire company and local police.
“I guess somebody lis-
tened,” Miners said.
The Corps maintains the 68- year- old bridge as the agency responsible for the upkeep and safety of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Corcon Inc., an Ohio- based construction firm that specializes in bridge painting, is handling the current $ 6.8 million update.
With crews working almost daily and perilously close to traffic on the twolane bridge, the project requires the closure of one lane for much of the duration of project, creating traffic delays for the 13,500 vehicles that cross the span daily.
Those cars will now be able to easily access town for the Independence Day festival next Friday. The celebrations start at 5 p. m. in Pell Gardens with a concert in the park from Stone’s Throw, which has played this waterfront holiday venue in years past, hosted by Chesapeake City’s Chamber of Commerce.
Chesapeake City’s fireworks display at 9 p. m. ends the evening. Best viewing is anywhere along the canal, on either the north or south side of town. The show is sponsored by the Town of Chesapeake City, the Chesapeake Inn and Marina and Schaefers Restaurant and Canal Bar
Folks are encouraged to return to town on July 2 for the start of the Summer Sundays in the Park concert series in Pell Gardens’ Band Shell. Throughout the summer, concerts will take place on Sundays from 5 to 7 p. m.
July Fourth revelers will be able to easily access Chesapeake City’s Independence Day since the town’s bridge project will be put on hold for the holiday weekend.