Delaware Historians Rally to Preserve Historic Cooch’s Bridge Site

Delaware Historians Rally to Preserve Historic Cooch’s Bridge Site

“Cooch’s Bridge is a one-of-a-kind location because it has a social history that is both interesting and significant, as well as an agricultural history through the milling business. Richard Cooch, a member of the Cooch family who is already in his eighth generation, stated that “it’s just not the battle.”

Just one combat took place on Delaware soil during the American Revolution, and it took place on the property that bears the family’s name, which is located south of Newark. To preserve the land’s history, the family decided to sell a piece of the property to the state in the year 2010.

“For many generations, my family has been diligently working to preserve the area to the best of our abilities,” he stated. “But the bottom line is that our family concluded that the site could be much better interpreted to the public if it was in public or state ownership rather than a private family trying to interpret it,” the statement reads.

Even after the decisive fight that took place in 1777, the land continues to be steeped in history. A wide range of agricultural and social histories are revealed on the site, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of families that were either free or enslaved, dating back to a time far before the revolution.

Concerns regarding the safety of automobiles and pedestrians have surfaced, particularly in the vicinity of the tiny bridge that crosses the Christina River adjacent to the property, since the surrounding area has developed more and more over the previous few decades.

It is time for us to look into completing repair projects on bridges, according to Charles R. McLeod, the director of community relations for the Delaware Department of Transportation. “DelDOT has identified… all three structures are right around 100 years old, give or take a few years,” said McLeod. As a result of the increasing traffic, one of the problems that we are experiencing is a rise in the number of accidents.

DelDOT held two public hearings at the beginning of February and March, with attendance ranging from 150 to 300 participants, to discuss future plans for Cooch’s Bridge and to elicit public input for the planned improvements. The hearings were convened in order to discuss the proposed changes. The project intends to improve the condition of a pair of bridges, increase mobility for all users within the study area, and decrease congestion to reduce congestion.

According to the presentation, the existing bridges do not fulfill the needs of modern standards. This is due to several factors, including the fact that their lanes and shoulders are too narrow, structural issues, safety measures that do not meet the criteria, and difficulty in controlling traffic flow, particularly at intersections.

“It is imperative that we take additional measures to bring these bridges up to the current safety requirements and solve those issues that have persisted for a long time, not just on the surface but also beneath the surface. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the concrete bridges are beginning to disintegrate, as stated by McLeod.

There is a growing realization of the need to strike a balance between the safety of passengers and the historical significance of the site, despite the fact that Cooch and others are aware that change is unavoidable and will inevitably occur.

“It is necessary to strike a balance between the preservation of historic buildings and the safety of pedestrians and drivers.” We are hopeful that the state will take into consideration the requirements that are imposed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs,” stated Cooch. “There are a lot of people who are hoping that the Delaware Department of Transportation will give serious consideration to closing off a portion of the old Cooch’s Bridge Road going south from Cooch’s Bridge.”

According to DelDOT, there will be no road closures as a result of this project.

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