DelDOT Performing Repairs to Swiggett’s Pond Bridge

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by Terry Rogers

 

 

Currently, Fleatown Road at the intersection of Cedar Creek Road (Route 30) is closed as DelDOT performs necessary repairs to the bridge over Cedar Creek. The repairs began on June 8 and are expected to be completed no later than July 17.

“The Delaware Department of Transportation is replacing the deteriorated corrugated metal pipes with reinforced concrete pipes,” Kathryn Beasley, Community Relations Officer for DelDOT, said. “Although the road is scheduled to open on July 17, we anticipate that it will be completed earlier, and the road should open sooner than originally expected.”

As part of the construction, Swiggett’s Pond was pumped down to accommodate the excavation necessary to replace the deteriorated pipes, Beasley explained. The Department Environmental Section, DNREC and the Army Corps of Engineers were notified that the pond would need to be pumped and they continue to monitor the effects to ensure that there are no negative effects.

“The repairs were necessary because, over time, corrugated metal pipes deteriorated and rusted,” Beasley said. “Zack Excavating removed the old metal pipe and replaced it with a concrete box culvert. In addition, reprap will be placed in the pond to reduce further erosion.”

Detours are posted on Fleatown and Cedar Creek Road. Southbound motorists are routed onto Johnson Road just past the new Bayhealth campus, onto Cubbage Pond Road and right onto Cedar Creek Road. Eastbound vehicles turn left onto Cubbage Pond Road and right onto Johnson Road. They should keep right at the fork and turn right onto Cedar Creek Road at the four-way stop sign.

Swiggett’s Mill was originally part of the holdings of Daniel Rogers, a native of Pungoteague, Virginia, who arrived in the Cedar Creek area at the age of 21. At the time, the Cedar Creek crossing was known as the “wading place. Just prior to the American Revolution, land areas at the heads of all major rivers in Kent and Sussex County were settled by families who hoped to capitalize on the growing river trade. Levin Crapper in Milford, Clark Conwell in Milton, Benjamin Waples in Primehook and Avery Draper in Cedar Creek all established successful grist and bark mills as well as trading stores, taverns and wharves.

Rogers initially purchased a 128-acre farm at the Cedar Creek crossing, then located just north of Argo’s Corner. When Levin Crapper passed away, Rogers was the administrator of his estate. While handling the estate, he grew fond of Crapper’s widow, Esther. They married in 1778, with Rogers moving into what is now the Causey Mansion with his new bride and her grandson, Zadock. The couple had two sons, James and Thomas. They also had a daughter, Betsy, who died at the age of seven.

At the location where Swiggett’s Pond exists today, Rogers built a tavern that was a well-known local landmark. Rogers would go on to become Governor of the State of Delaware. It had been his desire to create a large trading center in the Cedar Creek area, similar to that of Milford, but that did not occur. Over the years, the mill that existed on Swiggett’s Pond changed hands many times.

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