A bridge over a small tributary of Deer Creek on Wilkinson Road in Havre de Grace was washed away nearly 50 years ago — next month it is being replaced.
The bridge over Elbow Branch was damaged in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes, Cindy Mumby, spokesperson for Harford County government, said.
“That was for motor vehicles at the time and the county was looking to rebuild after the flood damage, but couldn’t get a right of way,” Mumby said.
The new bridge will be for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only, she said, to provide a safer way to get to Susquehanna State Park.
Joe Frederick, who lives at the end of Wilkinson Road on the park side, said he doesn’t want the pedestrian bridge. He was notified about a year and a half ago of the county’s intent to install the bridge.
He’s spoken with his neighbors, who he said are puzzled by the bridge.
“Most of us wonder why this is needed, who knew someone to have it done,” he said. “We think it’s a waste of taxpayer money, when the cost of the bridge could be used to pay for a teacher."
One of his neighbors is a bike rider, but he carries his bike across the stream. He imagines his neighbor will use the bridge once it’s there, but he didn’t pursue having it installed, Frederick said.
The bridge is being replaced because of requests from people in the community, pedestrians and bicyclists looking for safer access to the park, Mumby said. And a pedestrian bridge does not require a right of way that precluded the motor vehicle bridge.
“We did have requests from the community —remember there was a bridge in that spot at one time,” Mumby said. “They will have limited access by creating a pedestrian bridge.”