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A New Bridge for Patapsco!

By - February 23, 2016

Governor Hogan recently released his FY 2017 budget, and it included a major win for hikers and mountain bikers using Patapsco Valley State Park. The budget includes $700,000 to build a pedestrian bridge over the Patapsco River, connecting the McKeldin and Woodstock areas of the park. This bridge will serve all trail users: hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians, and provide access to an area of the park that is currently difficult to reach.

Why is this bridge such a big issue?

During the summer months, on many weekends Pataspco Valley State Park is over capacity and has to turn visitors away from the more popular areas. This bridge will help users spread out across the park and alleviate the population pressures, especially in the Avalon area.

Providing a safe and dry crossing of the Patapsco River will enable mountain bikers and others to access the trails on the opposite side without leaving the park and moving their vehicle. The bridge makes sense – Patapsco Valley State Park is one of the largest suburban parks on the East Coast and, with more than 200 miles of trails, it has the most extensive trail network of any suburban park on the East Coast. The river currently cuts off part of this network, and this bridge will provide access.

What can I do?

You can email or call your state senator before March 1st to tell them that you support this bridge!

Here is a sample letter from the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts:

Dear (Your Senator),

Thank you for your continued support of Maryland State Parks and specifically, Patapsco Valley State Park.  Patapsco Valley State Park is one of the main reasons I live in your district and the Park’s success is critical to our neighborhood’s vibrancy.

Last year the General Assembly’s Capital Budget included funding to remove Bloede Dam.  This project will improve public safety and benefit the environment by improving fish passage and stream connectivity–thank you for supporting this project. The FY2017 Capital Budget includes $700k under the Natural Resources Development Fund to build a pedestrian bridge across the Patapsco River, thereby connecting the McKeldin and Woodstock areas of the park.  This bridge will serve all trail users: hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians, and provide access to an area of the park that is currently difficult to reach, including historical landmarks such as the Granite Quarry and the old train bridge abutment below Davis Ave.

During the summer months, many weekends the Park is over capacity and has to turn away visitors during the weekend.  This bridge will help users spread out across the park and alleviate the population pressures, especially in the Avalon area.

Situated only a few miles from the Inner Harbor, Patapsco is one of the largest suburban parks on the East Coast and with its more than 200 miles of trails, it has the most extensive trail network of any suburban park on the East Coast: Patapsco is within 90 miles of 6 million people.  These trails and this park are an economic driver for this area and one of the main reasons I live in your district.

Thank you for supporting the Park and helping make the bridge connecting the McKeldin and Woodstock areas a reality.

Sincerely,

{Your Name}
{Your Town}

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