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Bridge Over I-83 Receives Needed $5.4M Update

Work continues on the large scale project - while the bridge constantly remains open for traffic.

Tue February 11, 2014 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

A bridge replacement project in Baltimore County, Md., is heading for a summer completion date.

The contract calls for the replacement of State Bridge No. 03214 on Middletown Road (a two-lane country route) over I-83 (Baltimore-Harrisburg Expressway). The bridge was originally built in 1957, and is located at exit 31 on I-83.

The cost for construction of the project is $5.4 million, and it began in the fall of 2012. The contract was awarded to the Six-M Company Inc. of Delta, Pa., with Jeff McCoy serving as project manager.

In Maryland, the State Highway Administration (SHA) owns and maintains state and county highway bridges over non-toll interstate routes.

Work will consist of removal and replacement of the bridge; approach roadway improvements including the widening of Middletown Road to meet the new bridge structure; realignment of existing interchange ramps to meet the new bridge; relocation of roadway lighting and a traffic signal at the end of the I-83 north ramp to Middletown Road; resurfacing and restriping of Middletown Road and an SHA-operated Park & Ride lot west of the interchange; and installation of stormwater management facilities. Middletown Road will not be widened beyond the interchange area.

According to Fran Ward, community liaison of SHA district 4 (Baltimore and Harford counties), the project completion has been delayed by the season.

“The original completion date was fall 2013, and the new date is early summer 2014,” Ward said. “However, the bridge has been open to traffic at all times, so the delay has not affected motorists. Challenges include limited construction and storage areas in the vicinity of the interchange, which is in a rural/residential area of northern Baltimore County.”

Construction is being completed in two stages. The northern half of the bridge (the future westbound Middletown Road lane) was removed and replaced first. The southern half of the bridge was removed last year, and the second half of the bridge (the future eastbound lane) is not under construction.

“The new bridge deck is wider than the original, which made it possible to keep the crossing open and build the bridge in two stages,” Ward said. “The additional width of the new deck will provide a new left-turn lane for drivers going from westbound Middletown Road to I-83 south, especially in the morning rush hours when people are traveling to Baltimore.”

SHA and the contractor shifted both travel lanes over to one side of the bridge while the other side was removed and replaced.

The installation of bridge beams required late night total closures of I-83 north and south (one direction at a time), with all traffic diverted off I-83, through the diamond-style interchange and back onto I-83.

Traffic was maintained on part of the existing bridge while building stage 1, then placed on the new bridge to build stage 2.

“There is a SHA-operated Park and Ride lot within the northwestern quadrant of the interchange,” Ward said. “The Park and Ride lot is used by locals and commuters traveling on I-83 between southern Pennsylvania and Baltimore. The driveway to the lot is also used by a Baltimore County Fire Department station, which is located behind (or north of) the Park and Ride lot. The contractor uses the Park and Ride lot as a project access point and for staging equipment and materials, so 20 of the 60 spaces are temporarily unavailable for commuters. Fortunately, the lot is not at full capacity, and there are other lots along I-83 at Exit 36.”

The project involved a total of 11,191.6 cu. yds. (8,556.6 cu m) of earth moved, and 1,463.5 cu. yds. (1,118.9 cu m) of concrete used in stage 1 and for the substructure of stage 2.

Genesis Steel Service Inc., of Baltimore, Md., is the minority subcontractor performing the steel erection and tying the rebar for the bridge.

DRM Associates, Manchester, Md., installed the deck pans and steel stud shear developers for the bridge.

Major equipment used on the job includes a 2005 Terex-American 80-ton (72.6 t) crane, a 2003 Komatsu excavator and a 2005 Komatsu excavator.

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