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Roddy Road Covered Bridge repair complete

Danielle Ryan

(4/20) The Roddy Road Covered Bridge repair is finally complete, almost a year after it was damaged during a boxcar accident. The Frederick County Divisions of Public Works and Parks and Recreation invited the public to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the repaired Roddy Road Covered Bridge and newly improved Roddy Road and Loy’s Station on April 17 at the Roddy Park.

The bridge sustained severe structural damage back on June 16, 2016 when a box truck tried to squeeze through the small frame. Unfortunately, the truck wasn’t able to make it through and instead caused serious damage to the historic Thurmont bridge. Signs located on both sides of the bridge clearly warn drivers of the height limit, so whether or not the sign was misread or ignored is still undetermined.

This accident was the second time in a month that a truck managed to damage the bridge, but the most recent occurrence caused the bridge to undergo the most damage. After an extensive assessment, engineers found that five of the six main support posts for the covered bridge structure were damaged by the truck.

Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction, Inc., was hired to repair the Roddy Road Covered Bridge, and the construction team went to work last fall. Work included removing the covered bridge from its location so all damaged parts could be replaced. Once repaired, the bridge was set back in its original location over Owens Creek, and a beam was installed across the top of the bridge preventing vehicles over a certain height from smashing into the bridge.

In addition to the repair work done on the bridge, park improvements were made to both Roddy Road and Loy’s Station Parks. The improvements within these parks included new landscaping, park entrance signs, vaulted restrooms and walking trails.

At Roddy Road Park, additional enhancements were made including installing new entrance gates, guardrail and swing set equipment with safety surfacing, relocating Roddy Creek Road for better sight distance for covered bridge traffic and a pervious paved asphalt parking lot and trails. At Loy’s Station Park, two picnic shelters were replaced with a new larger picnic shelter, with LED lighting and electrical service, the parking lot was expanded and paved with pervious asphalt, and a new entrance gates were installed. A new pedestrian bridge to the island on Owens Creek has been constructed, and new play equipment, benches, a kiosk and guardrail were built.

Dean Fitzgerald, President/CEO of Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction, Inc. spoke during the ribbon cutting ceremony and mentioned that there are some future projects in the works, one of which is the installation of will be a pavilion at Roddy Park. No specific date was released yet, but residents can expect the pavilion to be installed sometime next year. More details on this project to follow.

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