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Save the Historic Nice Bridge

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Save the Historic Nice Bridge

Old 10-04-22, 02:57 AM
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Save the Historic Nice Bridge


Help us save the Historic Nice Bridge over the Potomac River for bicycle and pedestrian use before the state of Maryland demolishes it. The existing bridge presents the opportunity of a lifetime to complete an amazing bike/ped network along the lower Potomac but is on the verge of being lost due to a short-sighted rush by Maryland to demolish this two-mile-long bridge as early as November 2022.

Connecting Charles County, MD and King George County, Virginia, rather than destroying it, repurposing the bridge would:
  • Connect communities, trails, and paths across the river
  • Enhance recreation opportunities for local people of all ages and skills
  • Provide access that supports sustainable and active transportation alternatives
  • Provide economic stimulus to Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck
  • Make a national impact that would rival the Hudson River Skywalk

But we need help fighting Maryland’s plans for demolition! We are seeking immediate temporary and permanent injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order to prevent Maryland from demolishing the Historic Nice Bridge. Our lawsuit alleges Maryland has violated various provisions of national and state environmental laws and regulations.

Detailed information and background story:

Both gubernatorial candidates for Maryland have said they will delay demolition until repurposing the Historic Nice Bridge for bicycle and pedestrian use can be fairly and independently evaluated--but they don't take office til January. In addition, Senators Cardin and VanHollen, and Representative Hoyer, have asked that the old bridge not be destroyed until a competent and unbiased study can be conducted on the costs and benefits of repurposing the old bridge.

Governor Hogan and the Maryland DOT have ignored these requests and are proceeding with demolition. We are filing a lawsuit to delay demolition and to give this idea a chance--but it costs money, and we need your help!

The Preferred Alternative chosen in 2016 for the new Nice/Middleton Bridge (US-301) across the Potomac River included a barrier-separate path for bicycles and pedestrians. Governor Hogan promised that this feature would be included, making the retention of the old bridge for bicycles and pedestrians, the runner-up option, unnecessary.

However, in 2019, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) broke this promise, removing the bike/ped path from the new bridge, saying that bikes would be free to “share” a lane with car and truck traffic where no shoulder exists. The Nice Bridge carries US-301 over the Potomac River and has a posted speed limit of 55 mph. 14% of the traffic volume. approximately one in seven vehicles, consists of heavy trucks. MDTA’s proposed “solution” is dangerous and unsafe and is, effectively, a ban on people using bicycles to cross the river. MDTA’s “solution” bans pedestrians completely.

In addition to violations of various environmental laws and regulations, MDTA is now considering, and actively pursuing, the use of explosive demolition to remove portions of the Historic Nice Bridge. This is a significant change in the manner in which the original demolition was considered in the environmental documents and raises additional concerns with regard to the impact on known endangered species occupying the Potomac River, including short-nosed sturgeon among others.

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Old 10-05-22, 07:47 AM
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This share the road nonsense is why I almost never ride on roads. They just want to be cheap and not spend the money.

I can't believe Maryland ranks in the muddled middle nationally for quality of roads. The roads are pretty bad, and many decaying bridges.
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