MORNINGSIDE, Md. (WJZ)–A chunk of concrete falls from a Maryland bridge, smashing a woman’s car and narrowly missing the driver. Maryland State Highway is making repairs and that bridge is on a list of ‘structurally deficient’ bridges around the state.
Christie Ileto has the details.
In seconds, clumps of concrete fell from a Beltway bridge onto a car passing underneath.
Lucky to be alive–only Katherine Dean’s windshield caved in, but the Prince George’s County bridge is on a list of 81 bridges in the state considered “structurally deficient.” This includes 18 in Baltimore, two in Howard and one in Harford County.
“People hear that word, it doesn’t mean they’re unsafe,” said a spokesman with the Maryland State Highway Administration.
MDSHA is working to fix or replace them; state highway checks the bridges every two years.
“As some of the bridges get older, we will increase the frequency just because we want to keep a close eye on them,” said David Buck, MDSHA spokesman.
Most of the bridges on this list are decades, if not, a century old. The bridge over Padonia Road was built in 1950 and it sees over 113,000 cars a day.
“It’s scary. You assume the roads you’re on, the bridges you’re on are safe and you never think about the fact they could collapse at any time,” said motorist Alan Robin.
Ileto asks: “Does it make you feel like that could be you?”
“Absolutely, absolutely and wonder why aren’t we fixing this now,” said one driver.
Transportation funds come from things like MVA fees and the gas tax, which lawmakers could be eying to repeal.
“Certainly to go back now and cut it is something that’s probably not prudent… we have roads and bridges that need to be funded,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
To keep accidents like the one Dean encountered from becoming deadly.
The number of structurally-deficient bridges has declined since 2006 when there were 143.
Highway officials say Maryland has the lowest percentage of structurally-deficient bridges in the country.