The span was damaged by a train derailment.
Harpers Ferry, Md (KM) The National Park Service is looking into the extent of the damage to the footbridge over the Potomac River and options to make repairs. That’s according to Autumn Cook, a public affairs specialist with the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
“Planning efforts to repair the footbridge are underway. But repairs will take time given the complexity and the safety issues associated with the location over the river, and the fact that it’s attached to an active railroad,” Cook says.
The bridge was damaged during the early morning hours of December 21st, 2019 when a CSX freight train derailed on the adjacent railroad bridge. The span has been closed since then.
The footbridge is popular, especially with individuals hiking the C&O Canal towpath, and the Appalachian Trail, and Cook says the Park Service is well aware of that. “The NPS is considering options for shuttle service that would transport hikers and visitors around the footbridge closure until the repairs can be completed,” she said.
The Park Service says it’s communicating with CSX to determine the next steps. Cook says right now, there is no time line for completing repairs or a cost. “Although funding for the repairs has not yet been determined, the National Park Service has damage assessment and restoration abilities that allow the National Park Service to seek damages for injured resources,” says Cook.
Updates on the footbridge will be posted on line by the National Park Service at go.nps/HAFEfootbridge.
By Kevin McManus