Carrs Mill Bridge Closed, West Heaps Reopened

December 02, 1990|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

If you use the historic wooden bridge on Carrs Mill Road in Fallston for travel, plan on taking an alternate route for a while.

The county is moving the bridge and constructing a concrete one.

On the other hand, motorists in the north end of the county will see another wooden bridge, the West Heaps Road Bridge, reopened tomorrow. The bridge has been closed for almost two years because it was unsafe. The county rebuilt the bridge but retained its wooden character.

"We feel that going back to these wooden bridges may be the way to go in some areas of the county, because of the aesthetic value," said Robert K.

Taylor, chief of the bureau of construction inspection for the county's public works department.

The revamped West Heaps Road Bridge is expected to re-open tomorrow afternoon following a final inspection, Taylor said.

Taylor said wooden bridges are better than concrete in some ways because they do not deteriorate from salt during winter.

Wooden bridges also are less expensive, he said. The West Heaps Road bridge cost the county $160,000 to build. The concrete and steel Carrs Mill bridge will cost about $1.8 million in federal, state and county money.

But wooden bridges can't withstand heavy traffic, Taylor said, and Carrs Mill bridge is being closed.

The nearly 100-year-old wooden bridge will be moved in one piece and erected in Harford Glen, the outdoor education camp off of Wheel Road in Abingdon operated by the county Board of Education, Taylor said.

"The bridge is on the historic list as an old truss type of bridge, and they don't build those anymore," Taylor said. But it has a 3-ton weight limit, so nothing heavier than a car or pickup truck could cross it. That pretty much eliminated school buses. Now they're in the process of building a Fallston Middle School. With the new bridge, buses will be able to travel that road."

Motorists traveling toward Mountain Road, Route 152, from Carrs Mill, Grafton Shop Road and Vale Road will be detoured onto Watervale Road until August 1991, Taylor said.

"Once it's moved, we'll start working right away," he said. "We're hoping to have it open in August before the school session starts in September."

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