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Paw Paw Tunnel Access Improved

July 17th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

This fall, bicyclists and hikers will have a safer way to access the MD 51 (Oldtown Road) Bridge over the Potomac River from the C&O Canal Towpath near the PawPaw Tunnel in Western Maryland. The State Highway Administration (SHA) partnered with the National Park Service to design a new shared-use path along the south side of MD 51, between the towpath trailhead and the Potomac River Bridge.

“A popular side trip for hikers and bicyclists on the towpath has been to leave the trail and follow MD 51 about half a mile to the bridge to stop in town in Paw Paw, W.Va., or use the river access there, but as a winding, two-lane road without shoulders, MD 51 was not particularly friendly to bicylists or pedestrians,” said SHA District Engineer Anthony Crawford. “We are pleased to partner with the Park Service to design a safe, attractive and environmentally-friendly solution.”

SHA is constructing the 1,700 foot-long, 10-foot-wide shared-use path as part of a resurfacing project on MD 51. The path will be separated from the roadway with a concrete barrier topped with fencing. Weather permitting, it will be complete in October.

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