IMAGE: Suzanne Ludlow, Takoma Park city manager, photographs the last cars to cross the bridge.
PHOTOS • BY BILL BROWN
JUL 25—Takoma Park officials were prepared for this morning’s Carroll Avenue Bridge closing and traffic detours. They were not prepared, however for last night’s water main break on the bridge-traffic detour route. The break, which occurred around 8 p.m. Sunday night, closed Maple Avenue at the corner of Maplewood, concerning, among others, city manager Suzanne Ludlow, who knew that if the Maple/Maplewood route remained closed, the city would have to improvise a detour around the detour. She got, she said, little sleep last night.
To everyone’s relief, the water line was fixed and Maple Avenue roughly patched in time for the 9 a.m. bridge-closing.
City councilmember Jarrett Smith had the honor of being one of the last people to ride in an automobile across the old bridge deck. He was driven by city staff member John Pitt across the bridge in a city car. Two city police cars followed – but not before an unknown driver in a black Toyota slipped in behind Pitt and Smith, horning in on their bragging rights.
Asked about his thoughts as he prepared to cross the bridge, Smith said he hoped the contractor got the bridge done as planned “in a year and change” Most of the detour traffic, he said, will pass through his Ward.
Takoma Park police sergeant Michelle Holmes, driver of the last police car to cross the bridge, said she was thinking of “all the headaches this detour will cause.”
Their were immediate headaches, but they were small. A number of drivers were flummoxed by the “Road Closed” signs, especially those drivers approaching from the north. Some chose not to take the detour onto Flower Avenue, but to pass the sign to enter the Washington Adventist Hospital grounds. Supposedly that option was for “local traffic” and people whose destination was the hospital.
Google Maps is apprised of the bridge closing. It gives directions that include the detour routes.
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