ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) An 81-year-old swing-span bridge on the Eastern Shore that has concerned residents for years because it has been prone to break down will be replaced with a new $50 million bridge, Maryland officials announced Aug. 15.
Problems with the Dover Bridge, which connects Talbot and Caroline counties, have been a concern, because malfunctions can prevent access for emergency vehicles that serve one hospital for both counties. The bridge, which carries two 12-ft. (3.6 m) lanes, also is too narrow for modern standards.
The bridge is one of three remaining single swing-span types in Maryland and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It will remain at the current location in an open position to allow marine traffic to pass. The new bridge, which will be built just south of the current one, will be 2,020 ft. (616 m) long with two 12-ft. lanes, 8-ft. (2.4 m) shoulders and a 48-ft. (14.6 m) clearance above the average high water.
Construction is scheduled to begin next summer. Erin Henson, a spokeswoman with the Maryland Department of Transportation, said construction is expected to take about three years.
Gov. Martin O’Malley was scheduled to attend a news conference at the bridge Aug. 16 to announce nearly $160 million in investments for transportation projects on the Eastern Shore to improve safety and relieve congestion.
Additional projects include:
• $52 million to construct a new interchange at U.S. 301 and Maryland Route 304.