State plans to renovate flood-prone Cecil bridge

State allotting millions for county road projects

October 03, 2004|By Kevin T. McVey | Kevin T. McVey,SUN STAFF

PERRYVILLE - Maryland plans a $3.3 million renovation of the Route 7 bridge over Mill Creek, state Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said at a news conference in Perryville Friday.

In addition to the work on the Mill Creek bridge, $37 million will be allotted to Cecil County for road improvements and $41 million for other local highway priorities. This money was derived from increased registration fees, Flanagan said.

The Mill Creek bridge has been the subject of several complaints over the past few months because rains cause frequent flooding of the bridge, a key access point to Perryville. The state plans to install new sidewalks and raise the bridge to avoid flooding. The State Highway Administration has planned the improvements so that the bridge can withstand the worst storm anticipated in the next 100 years.

The primary problem is that when the bridge floods, Route 7 into Perryville becomes impassable and creates problems for Perryville firefighters, said Chief Richard Hall of the Perryville Volunteer Fire Company.

"The majority of our calls are southbound into Perryville," Hall said. "When the bridge floods, we have to go the roundabout way, which takes longer and delays the alarm. People also will try to go over the bridge when it floods, so we will help them out, but there are no statistics on that because they're not actual calls."

Perryville Station 6 is just east of Mill Creek, and when the bridge floods, responses to calls take longer.

"It's a safety issue with a number of rescue calls," said Perryville Mayor James L. Eberhardt.

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