North Point bridge closed after water main break
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:27

Long wants new bridge or storm water system

by Ben Boehl

    People driving on North Point Road near German Hill Road this week have had to find a way around the site — because the road was closed due to repairs.
    According to David Fidler of the Baltimore County of Department Works, the road was closed after a hole appeared in the surface at a bridge over Bread and Cheese Creek.
    According to reports, the hole appeared after there was a leak in the water main beneath the road — a 12-inch pipe dating to 1928.
    Fidler said the type of repair can be performed in a day or two, but the fact that the county has to work with Baltimore City — since it is their water system — might delay the process slightly.
    “The repair [will take up to] a week, because the water had to be valved off by Baltimore City and it will be repaired by our county crews.
    “We are going to cut and cap the underline of each side of the bridge,” Fidler added.
  

The road was closed last Thursday, Jan. 17, and was set to reopen by the end of this week.
    Fidler said the closure might have been an inconvenience to motorists, but was not near any homes.
    “No one [was] isolated or stranded, and we didn’t need to put up detour signs,” Fidler added.
    John Long, president and founder of Clean Bread and Cheese Creek,  has been fighting for a new stormwater management system for the Dundalk area and has said the current system would be considered illegal if it wasn’t “grandfathered in” by the county.
    Even though this week’s closure was due to a water main break, Long pointed out that the North Point Road bridge usually gets flooded whenever there is heavy rain.
    He said because of the poor stormwater management system the bridge floods more often. If the county can’t provide a new system, he wants to see a new bridge.
    “We spoke with [a county official] and asked him about repairing the bridge. He said the bridge should last another 10 years,” Long recalled. And according to Long, that official said a similar style bridge would be built in its place in 10 years, which Long finds unacceptable.
    Long knows that the county has funding issues, but feels it is time to solve the problem, because it is a safety hazard.
    “[The stormwater management system] needs to be repaired. It’s a priority for public safety,” Long explained.
    “I’ve seen ambulances and fire engines that had to turn away because the bridge was flooded.”
    Willow Road resident Francis Seaman called it a “giant cavity” in the road and agrees with Long that a new bridge must be built. Seaman said that  heavy rains cause flooding, and police often have to set up a roadblock redirecting traffic.
    “They need to raise the bridge about three feet,” Seaman said.
    “They could go four feet if they wanted to, because they have the room to do it.”