Hey CSX, what’s going on with the bridges?

The following letter was sent to James Foote, CEO of CSX and released to the Times-News for publication:

Dear Mr. Foote: It has been over a year since your correspondence with Congressman Trone regarding the Washington Street Bridge in Cumberland, Maryland. Another year has gone by with no resolution. As you are aware, Allegany County is in the process of bringing this complaint before the Surface Transportation Board.

In your letter to Congressman Trone last year, you mentioned the 2015 traffic study. That study was never adopted by any city official. What I see in your letter and what I hear from the city engineer is “it can’t be done.” When do we start solving problems instead of making excuses?

It can be done, but it might be difficult. Please help us figure it out so we both are satisfied with the outcome. This is not happening between your lawyers and our city. We believe that this is more than a “Washington Street residents’ desire for a new bridge.”

Washington Street is on the National Register of Historic Places, and a designated Historic District by The Maryland Historic Trust. We must balance modern railroading, the needs of rural America, and the preservation of historic sites. Historic places do matter to society.

The city of Cumberland holds history from early colonial times, the rise of the great railroads and their role in the opening of the west. It has seen civil war battles, the underground railroad, and hosted numerous famous visitors, many who came by train. Our pioneering ancestors didn’t stop when the terrain was difficult. They worked hard and persevered. We should too.

I am writing to the CSX board members to ask for their help as well. We all play a part in preserving this piece of history for future generations.

Terry Murphy

Cumberland

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