The East Coast Greenway Alliance calls crossing the Susquehanna River its greatest challenge. But there may be hope for that being closed.
There are many challenges to completing the trail (now 29% off-road on greenways), but one rises high above the rest: crossing the Susquehanna River. Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna on foot or by bike? The closest safe crossing is in Pennsylvania, over 23 miles upstream from Havre de Grace, Maryland. With your help, we can change that.
Looking north (upstream) at the four spans near the mouth of the river, from near to far: Amtrak, US Route 40, freight rail, I-95. Credit: Ben Longstaff, IAN, UMCES
There are presently four crossings in the river's southernmost stretch, two for autos and two for rail, and none permit bikes or pedestrians. One of these (Amtrak's Susquehanna River Bridge) was completed in 1906, and is one of the most significant bottlenecks in Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been awarded $22 million to design this bridge's replacement. This is a great first step, but it doesn't guarantee that bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be built; we all know that when cost projections start rising, bike and ped features are often the first to be cut.
The 2035 Maryland Transportation Plan and the Draft Maryland Twenty-Year Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan set strong goals for enhancing non-motorized transportation in Maryland. This bridge, if properly designed and built with accommodation for walkers and cyclists, will be proof positive that MDOT walks the talk.
Please join the East Coast Greenway Alliance as we urge MDOT to build a bridge that will serve multiple modes, connecting communities by rail, bike, and foot, for the next 100 years. Together we can make our voices heard as we call for healthy and sustainable transportation infrastructure for the 21st century.
How Can YOU Help?
Many separate voices have much less strength than a single, strong, focused voice. Together we can make a difference. Join in this effort, have your voice heard. Please sign this petition to support bicyclist and pedestrian access to the new bridge. Please also contact our Mid-Atlantic Coordinator, Andy Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more ways to get involved.