What's wrong with this picture?

September 12, 2010
  • A reader submitted this photo, taken earlier this summer, of a tree that fell across Antietam Creek near the Old Forge Road bridge. The tree was removed last week.
Submitted photo,

Editor's note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.

We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The problem: A tree that fell across Antietam Creek near the Old Forge Road bridge blocked the arches of the bridge all summer, a reader said in an e-mail earlier this month.

"I can't canoe or fish because of this," the reader said, adding that damage to the road would be a concern this fall when water levels rise and additional debris is washed down.

The reader said the tree fell in June and the county was notified.

Who could fix it: Washington County Highway Department

What they say: When asked about the tree on Sept. 2, a highway department employee said it was on a list, but referred questions to Highway Department Director Edwin Plank, who was out of the office until after Labor Day.


Contacted Wednesday, Plank said the tree had been removed. Highway Department staff started removing it Tuesday afternoon and finished the work Wednesday morning, he said.

Plank said the highway department knew about the fallen tree but was waiting until some of its road-patching work was complete before removing it.

"The problem was, we didn't have the manpower to deal with it in what, I guess, everyone thought was a reasonable amount of time," Plank said.

--Compiled by Heather Keels

o If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What's Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740

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