LEESBURG, Va. - People on both sides of the Potomac River remain frustrated, as White’s Ferry remains idle.
Adding to their interstate travel issues is the MD-28 bridge over the Monocacy River in Poolesville, which is scheduled for maintenance work this summer.
According to an email to FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan, Shanteè Felix with the Maryland Department of Transportation explained that MDOT SHA is nearing completion of a major rehabilitation of the MD 28 bridge over the Monocacy River. The project included replacement of the concrete deck and structural steel repair.
This summer, crews will add a chemical treatment to the bridge deck that will prevent deterioration and extend the bridge’s service life. This work will require total bridge closures so crews can apply the chemical treatment and allow it to cure.
No dates for the closures have been determined, but those will be scheduled on the weekends due to lower traffic volumes.
Felix said the department is also working with the contractor to limit the number of total closures.
Meanwhile, the owners of Vanish Farmwoods Brewery in Leesburg told Khan that they have been feeling the lack of customers from across the river for some time now.
People who live in the region will typically drive up to the Frederick, and then drive down south over the Point of Rocks to make their way into Leesburg. The detour however, adds a little over 30 minutes to their commute and almost triples the mileage on their cars.
Some of those people include brewery customers who are either no longer visiting, or are driving almost two hours to get there.
The drop in traffic also impacts small mobile businesses that have set up shop on the brewery’s site.
"I’m afraid that all of the Poolesville community of Montgomery County, I think we are going to lose a lot of those customers," said Becci Clark, who owns and operates NollyPop Boutique from an RV camper located on site.
"So instead of it being just a quick trip, it’s become more of a ‘Ok we’ve got to plan the whole day around it."
Some of the residents in Poolesville also told FOX 5 that they’re feeling the impact of the closure and are not happy about the summer bridge work.
That includes Pastor Chuck Copeland of Hosanna Community Church. Copeland said that his congregation is suffering because of the lack of the ferry, as well as the soon to start bridge work. He said that some members simply can’t travel to the church.
"When those bridges get shut down that’s a major inconvenience," said Copeland.
"I have leaders I am waiting on who are coming to church in the morning before me and we have to have a network of people just to scout out whether the roads are open."
Andy Armstrong who trains horses at Loch Moy Farm in Poolesville but lives in Leesburg said that her commute to work which used to be short while the ferry was still around has now turned into almost two hours of being on the road.
"So even when we are using the bridge to get around the area, it’s still taking an extra 30-40 minutes to get there and now we are not going to have the bridge at all so it’s just going to take something like two hours to get to and from work," said Armstrong.