Local News

Floods Wash Out Bridge At Raven Rock State Park

Posted August 13, 2003

— A large part of a local park is closed because of flash flooding. The water crushed a bridge built just a few years ago to stand the test of time.

John Tucker brought his family out to Raven Rock State Park for a hike Tuesday. His target was the park's 5.2 mile Campbell Creek Trail.

"We had planned on doing that one because it was the longer one, and we wanted to see how far we could make it with these two," Tucker said, referring to the two children with him.

A number of hikers wanted to use the trail. But because of a flash flood, the bridge is washed out and the trail closed.

The 50-foot-long truss bridge lies in ruins after rain crushed it Sunday.

"We thought we had come up with a fairly substantional bridge to cross Campbell Creek," said park Superintendent Paul Hart.

The bridge was built by volunteers and the Army Corps of Engineers.

"It was designed by the senior design group at Drexel University for the Appalachian Trail Conference," Hart said. "So we thought we had a fairly substantial bridge there."

The bridge replaced one that was washed away in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran -- back in 1996.

Hart said that, in his 15 years at the park, he has never seen as much water as he has this year.

"Since the first of July, we have had more than 16 inches of rain here," he said.

Now, hikers will be cut off from many trails and a waterfall until a new bridge is built.

"It reminds me of the movie 'Jaws,' where the guy says we need a bigger boat," Hart said. "I think we need a bigger bridge."

This time, they are thinking about a steel bridge.

Park Rangers said they do not know how long it will take to replace the bridge. One problem is the remote location. It is so far back, crews put the old bridge in place with a helicopter.

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