Image: Connie Connolly / Star Democrat
Gov. Larry Hogan joined state and local officials this week for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new Dover Bridge along S.R. 331 over the Choptank River between Talbot and Caroline counties in Maryland.
Traffic on S.R. 331 had already been diverted to the new bridge, which replaced an 86-year-old swing bridge alongside it, and work will continue at the site as contractors add the finishing touches.
The $65.4 million, 2,020-ft-long, 50-ft-high bridge is open a year ahead of schedule. The old bridge, built in 1932, is considered historically significant, being one of only three swing bridges in Maryland, and the only one of its particular structure. But for the last several years of its life, the unique construction showed its disadvantage, as the center span often stuck or refused to properly close after opening to allow boats to pass through.
Advocates for the new bridge considered the issues with the old bridge a major safety concern, as residents from southern Caroline and northern Dorchester counties could not reach the closest emergency department in Easton in Talbot County.
The new bridge is wider, with shoulders along both travel lanes. The fixed span design will allow boats to pass under without interrupting vehicle traffic. The old bridge’s center span will be swung permanently open, and the spans that once connected it with Caroline and Talbot counties will be open to the public as fishing piers.
Source: Star Democrat