Gov. Hogan opens new Dover Bridge

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, at center in black shirt, cut the ribbon to officially open the new Dover Bridge. The ceremony took place on the old bridge, as the new span opened to traffic on Tuesday. The old bridge will be used for a fishing pier.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, at center in black shirt, cut the ribbon to officially open the new Dover Bridge. The ceremony took place on the old bridge, as the new span opened to traffic on Tuesday. The old bridge will be used for a fishing pier.

PRESTON – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan led a group of state and local officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning, to open the new Dover Bridge. The structure carries MD 331 over the Choptank River, connecting Talbot and Caroline counties.

The bridge opened to traffic on Tuesday morning.

As vehicles passed nearby – almost overhead – on the new bridge, the governor cut a ribbon on the original span, inaugurating its current use as a walkway, fishing pier and a venue for general recreation and sightseeing.

It was the end of a years-long process to upgrade the crossing. Traffic, including emergency vehicles, was often delayed when the old bridge’s swing-span was deployed to allow boats to pass.

“It’s a great day for the Eastern Shore,” Gov. Hogan said. “People have been begging for decades. It has finally become a reality.”

The original bridge was built in 1932. In addition to motorists’ concerns with delays, the structure was in a declining state of repair, with visible rust and missing chunks of concrete. It will still be more than strong enough, though, for its new use.

“The new bridge is a high-level, fixed-span structure just south of the existing bridge,” a statement from the Maryland Department of Transportation said. “It is 2,020 feet long with two 12-foot lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and 50-foot clearance above the Choptank River for marine traffic. The existing will remain at its current location in an open position to allow marine traffic to pass and people to fish from either side of the structure.”

The project finished a year ahead of schedule, the governor said. Total cost was $60.5 million.

The Banner will have a story and photos, with additional information, in the June edition.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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