Reporting Tim Williams
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — It was a tricky repair that did not go exactly as planned. This weekend, the Maryland State Highway Administration attempted to replace a portion of bridge along Interstate 295 but had to put the old piece back.
As Tim Williams reports, traffic is moving without a problem while engineers plan their next move.
Worn and aging, a portion of bridge along northbound I-295 near West Nursery Road was supposed to be replaced this weekend–but things don’t always go as planned.
“The bridges were originally built back in 1948, so the deck and driving surfaces are getting a little rough for people. After so many years of patching it, it’s just time to replace it,” said Charlie Gischlar, State Highway Administration.
Gischlar explains the initial plan would have taken two weekends. Two pieces of bridge constructed in the median were to slide into place after old portions were removed. Massive machines called Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs) were set to roll the portions into position.
“There was a weight shift when we were actually taking the old bridge out, so it became a little unstable and in the eyes of safety, we wanted to just stop everything there and re-evaluate,” Gischlar said.
So for now, the new pieces are stationary, the old portions remain and 295 is open to regular traffic.
Despite putting the old portion of bridge back in place, the State Highway Administration says there are zero safety concerns. But there’s also no time frame on when the project will be completed.
“We would never let anything onto a bridge or underneath of a bridge if there were any hint of any kind of danger,” Gischlar said.