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State to replace Flat Run bridge

(10/24) The bridge on Route 140 (East Main Street) over Flat Run in Emmitsburg is to be replaced, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA).

Charlie Gischler, spokesman for the SHA, said the bridge is slated for replacement most likely beginning in the fall of 2015, and completed in the summer of 2016.

The Flat Run Bridge project is presently in the design phase, so costs and target dates would be better known when the design is completed.

"We dont have a construction cost yet," Gischler said. "Technically, its not funded for construction right now," but the money will be available once the cost is determined.

The plan presently calls for the replacement of the bridge, which will also entail shifting the bridge slightly from its present location.

The bridge, he said, "will be shifted slightly five feet - to the south," which will move the bridge away from the Jubilee property to enable a sidewalk to be added to north side of the bridge.

There are no plans at present to put a sidewalk on the south side, since pedestrian traffic would primarily use the north side to access the shopping center.

Gischler also noted that some adjoining land may also have to be acquired to facilitate the addition of the sidewalk, which will result in the finish bridge being wider than it is presently. "There may be a sliver of right of way we might purchase."

The SHA does not expect the construction to affect the flow of traffic. "We can do this under traffic," Gischler stated. "We can built this new structure without inconveniencing motorists. It wont be a dramatic difference to the motorists (getting across the bridge during replacement)."

The shoulders will be removed during the replacement work to help with the flow of traffic.

The Flat Run Bridge was originally constructed in 1912, the spokesman said. "Were talking about a very old structure here."

The only previous work on the bridge Gischler could find was when it was widened in 1932, a "deck puncture" repair in 2006, and concrete repairs and preventative measures made in 2011 to the bridge pier and siding, along with some realignment of drainage.

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