50 years ago: Work on bridge over Susquehanna for I-95 symbolically begun

May 02, 2012

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, May 3, 1962:

Construction finally got underway on the Harford County side of the Susquehanna River on the Northeastern Expressway bridge across the river north of Havre de Grace. Gov. J. Millard Tawes was on hand for a ceremony at the river's edge where a 3,000 pound piling was lowered into the water symbolizing the start of work on the 42 mile section of expressway. The bridge was expected to take 18 months to complete and the entire expressway, now known as I-95, was slated to open in the fall of 1963. The highway would be a toll road from White Marsh to Delaware at a cost of $1 for the entire 42 mile stretch. In order to complete the bridge and the road in 18 months, the State Roads Commission divided the work into eight separate contracts totaling $42 million. Work began on all of the contracts at the same time.

Abingdon was seriously threatened when a series of field and wood fires moved dangerously close to the town. A B&O Railroad train is thought to have sent off sparks which caused a series of blazes. Seven of Harford's nine fire companies were involved in putting out the multiple blazes. It was estimated that a total of 35 wooded acres were burned in the fire. The firefighters fought the fires for six hours using multiple pieces of fire equipment. The flames moved to within 300 feet of a row of houses along Route 7. A prolonged dry spell was regarded as a contributing factor to series of fires.

The grand jury was due to hear indictment evidence against the two men accused of robbing and then murdering a service station attendant in the Route 40 corridor. The men were also suspected of a similar crime in Baltimore County where a service station attendant was robbed and shot to death. Their arrests ended a six-week investigation led by the Baltimore County Police and the Benson State Police Barracks.

The pages were littered with articles about candidates interested in running in Harford County's upcoming elections. It happened to also be an election year for the governor of the state of Maryland in 1962. Then Gov. Tawes was fighting for the Democratic nomination in Harford County. Some local supporters of the governor's re-election included Thomas Hatem and Sen. William S. James.

A special, Harford Countians only, showing of the new model homes that would be for sale in the soon to be developed Joppatowne was held. The Joppatowne master plan was to be on display complete with a model of homes, shopping facilities, schools, churches, recreational facilities, and other public services. The development of Joppatowne was expected to bring 10,000 new residents to Harford County.

In sports youth league season opened in Bel Air much the same way it does today, with a parade of players, a brief ceremony and several games being played.

To get started on your spring yard work and clean up, for sale this week at Courtland Hardware, Main Street: lawn rake, 68 cents; wheelbarrow, $6.99; five-pound bag of grass seed, 99 cents; half-inch garden hose plus free nozzle, $4.88; aluminum folding chairs, $3.77; 20-inch rotary tiller, $124.88; 20-inch rotary push lawn mower, $69.88.

Joe The Motorists' Friend, 36 North Main Street, was the "Discount King of Sporting Goods," for all of your outdoor activities. On sale this week: Metal Swing Gym Set, $22.88; sand box, $6.66; kiddy teeter rocker, $7.99; six-foot redwood picnic table, $18.63; seven-piece golf set, $27.77; badminton and volleyball set, $6.44; sidewalk skates, $1.44; tennis rackets, $2.88; baseballs, 59 cents; baseball glove, $7.99.

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