BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Hanover Street Bridge has been a Baltimore landmark since 1916, and it’s showing its age.
Some on the Baltimore City Council think that wear and tear is making the bridge unsafe.
From a distance, the Hanover Street Bridge retains its century old good looks, but up close, it’s a different story.
Its pot holes are legendary, and can run deep.
“You drive over the bridge, there’s exposed rebar, there’s jagged concrete, and it’s completely unsafe,” said Baltimore Councilman Eric Costello.
[REPORTER: “Are you saying it’s dangerous?”] “Absolutely. 100 percent,” Costello added.
Costello has told the city’s transportation director the same thing.
“The bridge is in horrendous condition. It’s a public safety hazard for folks who are driving over it,” he added.
“The bridge is not dangerous, but it’s in pretty bad shape,” said Baltimore City Department of Transportation Michelle Pourciau.
And that includes structural issues, like cracking and missing concrete, as well as work on the drawbridge section of the span.
“We’re going through the process to determine how the bridge will and can be replaced in the future,” Pourciau added.
But a complete repair or replacement would cost up to $100 million.
“Obviously, the city could not afford to make those long term repairs,” Costello said. “So we’re going to rely heavily on our state and federal partners in order to program that type of replacement and repair.”
But in the interim, Costello wants to see the bridge re-decked as soon as possible.
A $5 million job that is in the works, but not until next year.
“This is the city’s number one priority,” Pourciau said. “This is one of the most important projects we have.”
While re-decking and eventual replacement are down the road, the city’s transportation department says pothole repairs on the bridges is an ongoing effort.