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Bridge replacement might drive combines to highways

(Jan. 16, 2015) The Nelson Road Bridge, a county-owned wooden bridge, earned an unsatisfactory rating during its annual review by county inspectors and replacement efforts began Jan. 7.

Detours are in effect.

Late last year, the county imposed a weight limit on the three-span bridge to lessen the load before replacement could begin. Then-commissioner Virgil Shockley said it was the only way to get from northern Worcester into southern Delaware with farm equipment without having to use highways.

Farmers tend to avoid highways, Shockley said, to prevent them from being surrounded by irritated motorists.

Detours are as follows: 1.5 miles from the intersection of Shavox Church Road to Sheppard’s Crossing Road; 1.5 miles from the intersection of Sheppard’s Crossing Road to Nelson Road and from the intersection of Sheppard’s Crossing Road to Nelson Road, approximately 1.73 miles, Kim Moses, county public information officer, said in a release.

Route 113 or local roads 26, 54 or 353 could also be options to get farm equipment through this sparsely developed area.

The new bridge will be wider than the bridge it replaces, and even wider than the dirt road leading up to the bridge.

“The old bridge was 17.5 feet wide, and the new one will be 22 feet,” Frank Adkins, county roads superintendent said, “We’re widening it to make it better for vehicle and farm equipment traffic. The 17-foot width was good years ago, but as time goes by and people are using it more we try to get more width when we can.”

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