|Roof repair on Observation Tower (NPS)|
The Picket reported last week that the Burnside Bridge at Antietam will undergo an extensive repair and stabilization project. The structure closed over the weekend.
Officials at Antietam National Battlefield say the Observation Tower at the Maryland park also is closed. The 60-foot stone tower should reopen the first week of November following roof repairs.
Superintendent Susan Trail responded Tuesday to the Picket’s questions about the bridge restoration project.
Q. When do you expect people will be able to walk over Burnside Bridge again?
A. The bridge is now closed to pedestrian traffic and we anticipate the first phase of the project to end sometime around the end of the calendar year, but much depends upon the weather. The bridge will reopen at that time and remain open until the second phase begins in early spring. Then we anticipate it to remain closed through the summer.
Q. The National Park Service plans in-stream work to strengthen the stone piers. Does that mean rebuilding the piers?
A. Voids in the piers will be grouted and the piers will be repointed. They will not be rebuilt.
Q. What kind of stones make up the bridge? Are they local, or would you need to bring new ones in, if required?
A. The bridge is constructed of local limestone. At this time we do not anticipate having to bring in additional stone, but we will not know until the work is underway.
Q. Will the closure of the bridge change the park's interpretation in the area?
A. Visitors can still walk down to the bridge. It should not impact interpretation in this area too much, except that visitors will not be able to cross the bridge.