Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

September 16, 2013

In good shape

Our bridges are better than many across the nation

Although the delays and occasional backups caused by the work on the Interstate 68 Crosstown Bridge over Cumberland can get annoying, we took comfort from our front page story Monday that informed us that bridge conditions in other parts of the nation are much worse than what we experience.

In fact, the Maryland State Highway Administration has repeatedly assured the public that the Crosstown Bridge has always been structurally safe. It just has pothole and bridge joints that need repaired.

In the Monday story, The Associated Press said its analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as “structurally deficient” and 20,808 were said to be “facture critical.” Of those, 7,795 were both — a combination of red flags that experts say indicate significant disrepair and similar risk of collapse.

The Crosstown bridge project is a two-year effort that requires lane closures as crews install the new highway lighting. Below the bridge, cleaning, painting and repairs are being done in sections.

Once the work is completed next year, the bridge should be in great shape. All of the inconvenience to motorists will have been worthwhile.

Two other bridge projects also have been undertaken recently. The new U.S. Route 220 bridge connecting Keyser, W.Va., to Maryland is a wonderful improvement. Only a few days ago, crews also completed concrete repairs to the state Route 51 (Industrial Boulevard) bridge over CSX rails and the Canal Parkway.

Highway and bridge construction and repair money is hard to come by these days. It is gratifying to see the state investing in several important bridges in our region.

Unfortunately, the AP analysis shows there is an overabundance of safety issues on bridges throughout the nation.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014