A Chat with Mayor Willey: A New Footbridge and Proof of Concept for the Easton Economic Development Corporation
Mayor Bob Willey of Easton is well-known for being a soft-spoken type. Leaning on his conservative instincts and a Talbot County upbringing, he’s never been too animated in his support of a town initiative or project. Let the facts be presented calmly, without due pressure, his thinking goes, and a consensus of support will emerge.
That has certainly been the case with the long-term Port Street redevelopment project and all its moving parts. But it’s also clear from our most recent Spy interview with Mayor Willey can’t disguise his excitement over the completion of a major footbridge at the end of Greenwood Avenue that will not only connect Easton’s residents to the town’s growing Rails to Trails, but will also extend the length of the hiking and biking pathway an additional 2.5 miles.
Willey also can’t hide his satisfaction that the success of the footbridge project also highlights the unique capacity of the nonprofit Easton Economic Development Corporation (whose board he sits on) in making this a reality. Using the talent of dozens of its volunteers, many of whom have international reputations in fields like engineering, finance, architecture, and urban planning, the EEDC was essential in helping Easton take one of its first significant steps in reclaiming the town’s only waterfront.
The Spy sat down with the mayor yesterday to understand more how this substantial bridge’s construction was assisted with this private-public partnership; how the bridge’s addition will play a critical role in the long-term enhancement of Easton Point’s public access, and its longer-term impact for the town’s comprehensive design for the Port Street corridor from the Tred Avon Riverfront to downtown Easton.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the Port Street Redevelopment Project and the Easton Economic Development Corporation please go here