The $7.3 million project started in July and is expected to be complete by the fall of 2019. MDOT SHA’s contractor is Six-M Company Inc. of Delta, Pa.
(MDOT SHA photo)
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is using an innovative approach to maintain traffic during the construction of a bridge replacement project in Hereford, Md., in Baltimore County.
The contract calls for the replacement of the two-lane MD 137 (Mt. Carmel Road) Bridge over I-83 (Baltimore-Harrisburg Expressway). The bridge was one of 69 deficient bridges that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan committed to addressing.
The $7.3 million project started in July and is expected to be complete by the fall of 2019. MDOT SHA's contractor is Six-M Company Inc. of Delta, Pa.
According to Charlie Gischlar, public information officer of MDOT SHA, the 62-year-old-bridge is safe, but is rated “structurally deficient” and has outlived its service life.
“MDOT SHA is installing a temporary bridge for motorists and pedestrians to use during construction and reduce impacts to the environment and nearby residents,” Gischlar said. “This is an innovative approach. The cost to rent and assemble the temporary bridge is $600,000, which is offset by the ability to keep MD 137 on its original alignment, which reduces the need for additional drainage, material fill and tree removal. Additionally, the temporary bridge allows crews to work without traffic immediately adjacent to the work area, enhancing safety for workers and drivers.”
MDOT SHA's project design includes a new center lane to accommodate left turns to access northbound and southbound Interstate 83, easing daily congestion and improving safety operations. More than 9,500 vehicles use Mount Carmel Road over I-83 each day.
“The Mount Carmel Road Bridge over I-83 project eliminates another structurally deficient bridge from the state's system,” said Gregory Slater, MDOT SHA administrator. “During the project, the existing lanes will be narrowed, so we are asking motorists to slow down and pay close attention in the work zone.”
The new bridge will include a center turn lane to enable enhanced access to the ramps to northbound and southbound I-83, which will improve through traffic on the structure. In total, there will be three 12-ft. lanes with wide shoulders for bicycles and pedestrians. There is currently no existing sidewalk on either side of the bridge, which is why a sidewalk will not be included (no receiving ends).
In addition to the replacement of the bridge, Gishlar noted that crews also will install bicycle-compatible shoulders and extend the existing left turn lane from westbound MD 137 to access northbound I-83 to improve intersection operations.
“The challenge, as is the case on many projects, is to simultaneously protect workers and highway users during the project,” said Gischlar. “The innovation of using the temporary bridge will dramatically reduce this risk as traffic will be completely separated from the overall bridge replacement project; however, when crews are working on the demolition phase of the bridge and installation of the new piers on I-83, we urge motorists to pay close attention and slowdown in the work zone.”
The contractor will shift traffic from the existing bridge onto a temporary bridge over I-83 that will be located to the north of the present bridge. All travel lanes will be maintained during construction. Crews reportedly may need to close one travel lane on I-83 between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.
Major subcontractors include A.D. Heston Tree Services Inc. of Street, Md.; Best Fence LLC. of Glen Burnie, Md.; Rommel Engineering Construction of Linthicum Heights, Md.; Quality Utility Construction of Taneytown, Md.; Central MD Tree Experts LLC. of Sykesville, Md.; Paul Rach Inc. of Baltimore, Md.; Collinson Inc. of Uwchland, Pa.; Mid-Atlantic Marking Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.; Genesis Steel Services of Baltimore, Md.; DRM Associates Inc. of Manchester, Md.; Ed's Plant World Inc. of Brandywine, Md.; CJ Miller LLC of Hampstead, Md.; Ionion Painting Company of Baltimore; and Lems Contracting Company of Abingdon, Md.
Major equipment being used on the job includes pile drivers; a bridge deck finisher; a concrete mix truck; a flatbed truck for material delivery; welders; rollers; pavers; jackhammers for demolition of the existing structure; pneumatic tools/air tools; dump trucks; excavators; cranes; man-lifts; grade-alls; and Bobcats.
MD SHA noted that the Hogan Administration is making record investments in highways and bridges. Of the 69 structurally deficient bridges inherited by the Hogan Administration, 21 are repaired or replaced, and the remaining are under construction or in design.