Historic covered bridge damaged in Thurmont, detour affects major school bus route


THURMONT, Md. (WDVM) — Residents in Thurmont, Maryland are going to have to find another route if they want to cross Fishing Creek on Utica Road after a box truck damaged the historic Utica Mills Covered Bridge on Saturday.

The driver appeared to be traveling from Old Frederick Road and despite signage detailing the height and weight limit of the structure, the driver proceeded to cross the Utica Mills Covered Bridge.

When members of the Frederick County Office of Highway Operations arrived, they found the driver was stuck on the bridge and had to call a tow truck to extract the over-sized vehicle, subsequently breaking off parts of the frame.

Mike Ramsburg, Superintendent of the Frederick County Office of Highway Operations, says the county has no way of knowing the extent of the damage or how long the repair will take until the bridge is assessed.

“We’ll have the inspectors come out tomorrow [Monday] and do a full assessment of the damages,” Ramsburg explained. “Then they’ll get that report to the engineers and they’ll draw up a repair plan, and then we’ll determine whether we can make those repairs in-house or whether it will need to be contracted out.”

Karren Sowell is a lifelong Thurmont resident and also lives on Utica Road. She is tired of the damage and closures to a highly traveled bridge in the area.

“I’m frustrated. I truly am. We’ve got school buses that travel across this bridge. There’s [sic] summer schools getting ready to start on Monday and we have buses that now have to go out of their way to get children that are on this road,” Sowell said. “You should know how tall your vehicle is; and when you see a sign that says what the height [is], you should be able to determine and turn around.”

Due to the bridge closure, drivers should follow the detour route from Hessong Bridge Road to Lewistown Road to Old Frederick Road.

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