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A bridge too far in Carroll County

Residents say safety at risk if bridge not rebuilt
Posted at 4:20 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 18:14:36-04

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Pushing chunks of asphalt and concrete aside, Carroll County work crews fashioned a makeshift bridge along Trump Road within a matter of hours after it was washed out by the June storm, and residents say the work reflects their rush.

“One of the neighbor’s wheels slid off this weekend and he called me Saturday night in a panic and I’m like, ‘I can’t do anything about it. I know,’” said Lars Hviding.

Hviding says the narrow, makeshift bridge isn’t safe for the residents’ vehicles, much less fire trucks or ambulance, but for more than three months now, the county has held off on making more permanent repairs.

“We’ve got a lot of these roads that are private or common use, if you will, and before… as a good steward of taxpayer dollars, we put a structure in there, it’s our due diligence to insure that indeed does or does not belong to this county,” said County Commissioner Stephen Wantz.

“Historically, the federal government used to run what are referred to as postal routes. The federal government, then, created and maintained those areas of those roads,” added Public Works Deputy Director Douglas Brown.

While the county explores passing the buck, some residents say they’re losing business, unable to get their work trucks out, and risk losing far more.

“They’re trying to do everything they can to not do this repair,” said Ryan Bruckman. “And meanwhile, somebody is going to get hurt or killed going over the edge of this thing, not to mention if a house catches on fire or someone needs an ambulance and it can’t get there quick enough and somebody could die over this.”

Residents say they haven’t filed a lawsuit yet, but they’re prepared to take the county to court if it doesn’t do the right thing.