Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna River on foot or by bike?
That's why Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is supporting the effort of our friends at the East Coast Greenway Alliance to urge the Maryland Department of Transportation to include a bike/ped pathway in an upcoming redesign of the 108-year-old Susquehanna River Bridge currently used by Amtrak.
There are currently four crossings of the river in its southernmost stretch inside Maryland - two for motor vehicles, two for trains, but none for nonmotorized users. The closest safe crossing of the river is in Pennsylvania, about 42 miles upstream from Havre de Grace, making it difficult for Maryland trail planners to keep trail tourists within the state, and thwarting hopes for a connected regional trail system.
Our new study of rail-with-trail demonstrates that including both trail and rail within an active rail corridor is not only safe and increasingly common, it's also a great way to accommodate both transportation modes within a single corridor.
Crossing the Susquehanna River has emerged as the most significant hurdle in the completion of this region's section of the East Coast Greenway, a 2,900-mile National Millennium Trail connecting 15 states between Maine and Florida.
The East Coast Greenway is now 29 percent complete as trail, with 71 percent of the route on carefully-selected roadways. There are many challenges to building a trail on the route, but one rises high above the rest: crossing the Susquehanna River.
Please take just a few moments to let the Maryland Department of Transportation know that accommodating trail users in its redesign of the Susquehanna River Bridge is important to the people of this region.