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Rita Rich

Eastbound Bay Bridge Re-Decking Financed

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board today approved a $140 million construction services contract for the Eastbound Bay Bridge Deck Replacement project, which is expected to begin major construction in fall 2023 with anticipated completion in winter 2025/2026. The MDTA has designed the project, often referred to as a re-decking, to ensure minimal traffic impacts for residents and motorists.

“The MDTA is putting innovation at the forefront to deliver this needed re-decking to enhance safety and preserve the Bay Bridge,” said MDTA Chairman and Maryland Transportation Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. “I want to assure our local communities and Bay Bridge commuters that we’ve designed this project to limit travel impacts in every way we can. When major construction starts in fall 2023, we’ll accomplish major work overnight and have both spans open for drivers during peak periods.”

The project pre-construction process began in July 2021 and allows contractor input during the design phase to best plan and accomplish the work while minimizing impacts for customers, and to ensure a highly qualified contractor is selected. A joint venture team of local firms Corman of Annapolis Junction and McLean Contracting of Glen Burnie performed the pre-construction work. The MDTA Board today approved the joint venture – now Kokosing McLean – for the construction services contract.

“Unlike the 2019 westbound right lane overlay project, this project will replace the eastbound deck in sections – without the need for 24/7 closures,” said MDTA Executive Director William Pines. “We’ll utilize off-peak lane closures during the day to get work areas ready to ensure successful night shifts. During those overnight shifts we’ll remove portions of the bridge deck, install precast deck panels, secure openings between panels and reopen lanes in time for morning commuters.”

The new pre-cast deck sections will be fabricated off-site and barged to the Bay Bridge. Marine-based equipment will be utilized to replace deck panels and minimize the use of lane closures for most deliveries, resulting in reduced traffic impacts.

When major construction starts in fall 2023, the eastbound span will close at night, weather permitting, with two-way traffic in effect on the westbound span. Crews will remove at least one section of the deck and replace it with a new precast assembled section during the same overnight shift. Temporary closure assemblies will secure the openings between panels, allowing the eastbound span to reopen to traffic each morning. Daytime crews will prepare the next deck section for removal by the overnight crews.

This process is similar to the method used by the MDTA for re-decking the westbound bridge’s suspension span from 2007 to 2010. That project successfully minimized traffic impacts for bridge commuters and local communities.

This eastbound re-decking project will include replacement of the deck floor system, barrier upgrades, major structural rehabilitation of the truss superstructure, lane use signal gantry replacements and utility relocations, as well as off-site stormwater management work.

Some areas of the existing deck of the eastbound Bay Bridge are nearly 50 years old and have reached the end of their service life, based on MDTA’s detailed deck study from 2015. Extensive patching has been performed and continues when eastbound lane closures are available.

Customers and the general public can stay tuned for additional information and future updates about the project at baybridge.com.

For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. For real-time updates on major incidents, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Sign up for email/text alerts at https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn. Find us at facebook.com/TheMDTA. Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.

REMINDER: Deadline looms for civil penalty waiver for outstanding Video Tolls

MDTA customers are also reminded that the Customer Assistance Plan offering a civil penalty waiver grace period for Video Tolls will expire after 11:59 p.m. November 30, 2022. The MDTA Board approved the nine-month Customer Assistance Plan in February. Since then, for every Video Toll transaction paid in full while the plan is in place, the corresponding civil penalty is waived. In addition, toll bill referrals to Central Collection Unit (CCU) and the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) have ceased until December 1, 2022.

On December 1, toll debt referrals to the CCU for collections actions and to MDOT MVA for vehicle registration suspensions will resume, and customers will be responsible for the full amounts of all unpaid tolls as well as any civil penalties, which will be due based on the printed due dates.

With time running out, the MDTA encourages customers to check their account at DriveEzMD.com and pay their tolls before the opportunity for a civil penalty waiver ends 11:59 p.m. November 30. 

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