(3/19) Moser Road Bridge, located on Moser Road near the Thurmont Regional Library, has been found "deficient" according to a county inspection, and will be facing upcoming improvements.
Mayor John A. Kinnaird stated at the board of commissioners March 18 meeting that during a recent county inspection of the bridge, "They found some deficiencies with the understructure of the bridge, and they’re recommending we replace some of the beams underneath of it."
The county is recommending that we close off a 22-inch section of the downstream side of the bridge until the beams designated for replacement can be dealt with.
Although the county inspects bridges within their jurisdiction, the bridge is regarded as belonging to Thurmont.
Neither the county nor the state have any upkeep responsibility, Kinnaird stated, "Because it’s our bridge. That bridge was a county bridge and the Town of Thurmont took control of it many years ago."
When asked by Commissioner Bill Buehrer why the town took over the responsibility of maintaining the bridge, Kinnaird said, "I didn’t do it so I couldn’t tell you." The mayor said that it is the town’s responsibility to get a contractor and take bids.
Buehrer suggested that since work must be done on the bridge, the town should consider widening the bridge and possibly adding a pedestrian walkway.
"The thing I would like to look into, if we have structure deficiencies, then rather than put a band-aide on it, we ought to fix the bridge, widen it and possibly straighten it, and obviously it will all be respect to the cost," he said.
"Here we got a library that sets about 100 yards from that. There is no safe walkway for children or adults, and they walk there every single day…You just sit back there and cross your fingers and hope to God that nothing happens," Buehrer stated.
In the meantime, while the town explores it’s options regarding the bridge, Kinnaird said, "We’re going to put barrels out there and cordon-off the very edge of the bridge as you go through and realign the centerlines on the bridge to accommodate that."
"I would request that everyone approaches the bridge slowly from both sides. If there is a vehicle coming across the bridge and you’re not comfortable getting on the bridge with another vehicle let them go passed," he stated.
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