Weeks after the deluge, parkway still damaged
Broken bridges, debris serve as reminder of storm’s power
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The storms, which occurred periodically between June 26 and July 2, affected the park’s roads, paths, bridges, guardrails, playgrounds and trails. Efforts are being made to repair the damage.
The most significantly damaged portions of Sligo Creek Parkway are the sections between Piney Branch Road and Maple Avenue, as well as the pedestrian bridge and playground near the Wayne Avenue intersection.
‘‘Piney Branch to Maple remains closed due to significant damage to the shoulders of the roadway,” said Alexandra Teaff, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Multicultural Community Outreach manager. ‘‘We are still waiting for an assessment of the damage from the engineers before we can begin work.”
Teaff, who said the damage stretches across the entirety of the 5.5-mile-long parkway, said it is not certain when the closed sections will reopen. She estimated it could take more than a month, depending on what the engineers say.
Overall, Teaff is satisfied with the progress to make most of the park accessible. ‘‘I think a tremendous amount of work has been done,” she said.
Workers from Highway and Safety Services have completed temporary repairs to some areas, such as a popular pedestrian bridge located at Schuyler Road and Sligo Creek Parkway. Teaff said the Schuyler Road bridge was reopened Friday. Permanent repairs to the bridge and other park facilities will be made later.
Earlier Friday, jogger Philip Doile of Takoma Park found the damage to the bridge to be an inconvenience, since it forced joggers to use an alternate and less user-friendly path.
‘‘There’s a dirt trail you can use, but there’s a giant tree blocking that,” said Doile, who had to climb over the obstruction.
Fortunately for Doile and other pedestrians, the damage to the Schuyler Road bridge was less severe than the damage to the Wayne Avenue pedestrian bridge a short distance away.
The storm damage obliterated the Wayne Avenue bridge, ripping the structure from its sinews along the park path and tossing sections of it into the rocks and rubble in the creek below.
Highway and Safety Services on Friday removed the Wayne Avenue bridge, though its adjacent playground will remain for now.
‘‘The playground will be inspected to see if it is still safe, and then we will determine if it needs to be moved,” Teaff said.