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I rode there a couple of months ago, and they were already working on the trail connection from the north side of the bride to the circular parking lot at the park. There was also a staircase to connect the bridge to the neighborhood street. Looked like a well-designed project, though at a scale (and cost) closer to standard highway projects than to a typical bike trail.

this is a ridiculously stupid project. have you seen the absolute piece of s*** bike path it connects to on the north side as it rambles to the reservoir -- and from which there is no escape on a bike given the roads are racetracks, the police dont enforce traffic laws, and it conncets to...nothng?

apparently rockville enjoys these pointless builds: the bridge to nowhere on 28 over 270 -- yeah, that gets tons of use and connects to...what?...ugly kuntsler-esque suburbs?

these won't get used becasue people who live there LOVE their cars! why on earth we reward areas that have completely f****d themselves is one of the great insults in american life for educated progressives: witness the metro and such going to tysons!!! they wanted cars cars and more cars -- LET HAVE THE GODDAMN CARS in tysons and bring infrastructure alternatives to people who are smart enough to not live (and doom their children to banality and consumption) in the goddamn suburbs!!

On the flip side, "satan", people won't ride if the infrastructure isn't there...

Money spent in Montgomery County has very little to do with needs or demands in other areas. 1. it's all relative. 2. it's true that without infrastructure you won't have any use at all. 3. having the infrastructure and it being used will create more demand for connecting and expanding connections. 4. and yes, assistance programs to help people make the transition to transportational riding are required to fully reap the benefits of this infrastructure.

Mind your i's and e's in the title, there -- Veirs Mill is the historically correct spelling, although for legacy reasons the name of an elementary school and a church in the area still use "Viers."

I'm glad to see the bridge coming along. I'm not sure it's worth the cost, but it certainly will improve the trail experience.

Thanks. Spelling is not my strong point. Dancing is.

Any new word on when the bridge will open? It appears to be completed, except for some silly art project on the south side of the bridge. I actually saw someone biking on it from the road and got excited, but when I biked there myself and checked the fence was still blocking the bridge, so that person must have been trespassing.

According to Montgomery Parks, it is to be finished in Spring 2011. But elsewhere they say the end of December. So, it's confusing.

http://goo.gl/yic88

The bridge is still not open as of 12-30-2010. It looks as though the bridge is complete and they are just working on the landscaping. This bridge seems way over engineered and over decorated. How much of our tax dollars went into it? If you ride the Mt Vernon bike trail down by Reagan National, you'll see railroad bridges with less steel than was put into this bike bridge. There is a 20 ft circular arrangement of rocks on the west side of Veirs Mill that is completely unnecessary. I'm an avid biker and having a bridge over this busy street will be convenient and safer. But the design of this project seems to be out of proportion with the need and it's taking too long to complete.

I found a Montgomery County document from 2009 that puts the price at over $8.5M.

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/about/cip/documents/rock_creek_trail_pedestrian_bridge11.pdf

Wouldn't $1.5M be plenty for a project like this, leaving $7M to put into improving schools, repairing roads, reducing taxes, etc?

Glen, not sure. Can you find a comporable project at that lower price. You'd also need to know where the money comes from. Is it CMAQ money or Rec Trails money? If so it can't go toward any of the things you listed. Finally, it's hard to say that their is one intrinsic value system for all things. Would $1M more spent on schools be better than $1M more spent on transportation options? That is a very very difficult question to answer.

@Satan:

this is a ridiculously stupid project. have you seen the absolute piece of s*** bike path it connects to on the north side as it rambles to the reservoir -- and from which there is no escape on a bike given the roads are racetracks, the police dont enforce traffic laws, and it conncets to...nothng?

You sound very angry. It sounds like you've spent some time in the greater Aspen Hill area.

:)

Anyway, I used to think this project was a concrete manifestation of the schizophrenia and cognitive dissonance that marks these exurbs.

But I figure, even if it is a boondoggle, at least it's money spent on bike infrastructure. What else are you going to do? Most of that area is pretty much covered at every inch by irredeemable sprawl.

Just to respond to some of the negativity on this project...

I moved last year into the neighborhood adjacent to the "piece of #$%!" bike path on the north side, and I have to say I'm psyched for this bridge to open!

I agree that the drainage channels cutting across the trail on the stretch just north of the bridge are a bummer. I hope that is improved sometime soon. Also, signage is needed for the trail spur to Linthicum St.

Like Satan who posted above, I questioned the sense of the MD 28 bridge when it was being built. Now that it's been around a few years, I honestly don't even use it when I'm headed in that direction; I use the Millenium Trail instead. But the Veirs Mill Bridge will get a lot more use than that one I think. More people will head all the way to Lake Needwood or cut through to some of City of Rockville's shared roadway routes than before.

I personally agree that all the decorations on this project were over the top. But who am I to speak about public art? Maybe it was needed to sell people in the neighborhood who don't bike or jog on the idea of this bridge?

This bridge is now open!

Of course, the trail on either side of the bridge is currently covered with snow and ice. Walked the dog across it and back yesterday, and even with the trail covered with snow I passed by three other trail users. I think it will get plenty of use.

I biked there yesterday and was impressed -- the bridge looks marvelous and seems to be built to a high standard, as it should be given its not-insignificant cost. I noticed a few environmentally sensitive touches: the connecting paths on both sides of the bridge appear to be paved with a water-permeable material, and the lamps, I believe, use LED technology.

The artwork (an arrangement of stone blocks within a circle) adds aesthetic value, although I couldn't tell whether the artist meant to symbolize anything by the pattern of the blocks.

In the past I've seen a variety of users on the north part of trail, including cross-country runners from a local high school (probably Rockville), so I think the bridge was warranted. Was it worth all the money that went into it? Debatable, but over the long run I think so.

The trail on both sides of the bridge is still thickly covered in snow and ice, so I suggest taking road detours if you want to bike there in the near future.

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