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Footbridge at Harpers Ferry reopens after damage caused in train derailment

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — The popular footbridge at Harpers Ferry reopened Friday afternoon much to the delight of Harpers Ferry Mayor Wayne Bishop.

The train derailment took place last December.

“The people are using it and what a great outlet for all of the visitors to cross the river again,” Bishop told MetroNews.

The footbridge, which crosses the Potomac River at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, sustained significant damage during a CSX train derailment last December on the nearby railroad bridge.

The footbridge, known as the Goodloe Byron Memorial Footbridge, connects hikers and bikers to popular spots like Maryland Heights, the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal.

Bishop said the bridge is a big financial driver for his community.

“Let’s not forget about the people on the Maryland side who have been waiting for this day to cross over into Harpers Ferry to enjoy Harpers Ferry,” Bishop said.

A contractor for CSX began working on the bridge in earnest in May. CSX has been working closely with the Park Service on the project.

“We thank the Park Service and CSX, we’ve all been meeting and waiting for this day and now it’s here,” Bishop said.

An investigative report released from the Federal Railroad Administration last week said engineer error caused the Dec. 21, 2019 seven-car derailment. The engineer made a sudden move with the train with the brakes still applied, the report said.

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