Carroll County could save up to $200,000 by sharing with the developers the cost of replacing a bridge in a new Finksburg subdivision, the county's public works director said yesterday.
The county commissioners voted unanimously to pay $170,000 or half the cost of replacing the bridge over Lawndale Road -- whichever is less -- with the developers of River Downs, a 130-lot development that is to include an 18-hole golf course.
The bridge spans the Patapsco River, which runs through the 600-acre parcel owned by Gaylord Brooks Realty Co. of Baltimore County.
Carroll officials had planned to replace the one-lane bridge with a larger steel-and-concrete structure and had budgeted $350,000, Public Works Director Keith R. Kirschnick said. But the developers wanted a wooden bridge.
To resolve that conflict, the county and the developer agreed to share the cost of the new bridge. In addition to construction costs, the county will save money because it won't have to buy right-of-way easements from landowners for the structure, Mr. Kirschnick said.
The county also will subtract from its $170,000 share the expenses it will pay to repair the bridge before it is replaced.
County officials traveled to Queen Anne's County to look at wooden bridges to see if one would work over Lawndale Road, Mr. Kirschnick said. "We were impressed with them."
The new bridge will be 26 feet wide and 80 feet long, and will be built downstream from the current one, said Stephen R. Smith, vice president of Gaylord Brooks.
The current bridge, which is 16 feet wide and about 65 feet long, will be used as a golf cart crossing. Bridge construction may start in the fall or next spring, Mr. Smith said, but design work for the bridge is not finished, and the developers aren't sure what the total cost will be.
Construction on the housing development should begin this summer, and the golf course is scheduled to open by next summer.