Close, don't replace Vale Road bridge [Editorial]

It's going on five or more years since the decision was made that something needed to be done with the Winters Run Bridge on Watervale Road at the nexus of Fallston and Bel Air.

Since then the bridge has been closed, patched and re-opened on what is supposedly a temporary basis. A final location for the historic span has even been picked out for when a new bridge is put in place.

The same old awkward bridge at the same old awkward intersection at Vale Road with the same makeshift repairs remains in place, and probably will for the foreseeable future.

It seemed the initial plan to replace the horse and buggy-era bridge was driven by a need to increase traffic access for an area much coveted by residential developers, though the official reason was to accommodate emergency vehicles.

At this late date, possibly the best plan for the bridge is one that was suggested a few years back: take it out and make Watervale Road and the surrounding neighborhoods into a cul-de-sac community. After all, the Fallston firehouse is just about as accessible from the Route 152 side of Watervale as it is from the Vale Road side.

Eliminating the bridge eliminates an odd intersection and makes a quiet neighborhood that much quieter. Plus, it saves the county a few dollars and a lot of tail-chasing.

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