Bridge West of Harrington Closed After Sinkhole - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bridge West of Harrington Closed After Sinkhole

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KENT COUNTY, Del. -- High water that gathered over the weekend because of stormy weather from Hurricane Matthew overwhelmed a culvert underneath a bridge west of Harrington, causing the structure to fail after it began to cave in.

The Delaware Department of Transportation closed the bridge on Vernon Road (SR 14) between Prospect Church and Fox Hunters roads because the ground beneath the road had washed out. The damage left a large sinkhole that cracked the pavement and dropped parts of the pavement as much as two feet.

Greg Layton, a DelDOT spokesman, said Tuesday morning there was no timetable available for when the bridge would be repaired. Signs warning drivers about the bridge closure were visible along Vernon Road and indicated a detour around the bridge in effect.

The bridge garnered curious onlookers who were surprised to see the extent of the damage to the bridge.

"I didn't know how bad it was washed out. I just wanted to come down and see. It's washed out quite a bit," said Mike Pearce, who sometimes uses Vernon Road to avoid driving on back roads.

Pastor Shannon Harris with Prospect United Methodist Church, located just yards from the bridge, said she is concerned about how the closure will affect services.

"I have several parishioners who live just on the other side who are now going to have to go out and around to get here so I'm hoping the state fixes it right quick," she said, also noting that the detour could add minutes to response times for emergency vehicles like ambulances.

Charles Taylor said the bridge closure would add a few minutes to his drives in and out of town. He said he wasn't too concerned and was glad the damage wasn't worse.

"You learn to live with it," he said. "Things happen and sometimes it can't be helped. You can look at it this way, we're very fortunate we didn't have the hurricane."

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