On November 21, 2019, the MDTA Board approved a $463 million contract for Skanska-Corman-McLean (SCM) Joint Venture to design and build the new US 301 bridge to replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge over the Potomac River, which is used by about 18,000 vehicles daily. The project is one of the state’s largest transportation initiatives and will improve mobility, safety and economic opportunities for southern Maryland, northeastern Virginia and the region. Virginia will contribute $13 million to the project. The MDTA is implementing a major infrastructure project that’s affordable, invests in safety and will improve our citizens’ quality of life today – not years down the road.
The Hogan Administration has long committed to building a new, wider and safer bridge to replace the 1.9-mile Nice/Middleton span, which opened in December 1940 and connects Charles County, Md., to King George County, Va. The project will replace the existing two-lane bridge with a new, four-lane span that will be aligned with the existing roadway approaches in Maryland and Virginia. The four, 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities.
SCM, a joint venture comprised of firms with local ties, had the highest rated proposal and the lowest bid price for the project. Construction will begin in early 2020 and will create more than 500 jobs. The new bridge is expected to open by 2023. The height of the new span will accommodate tall vessels, and it will have all-electronic (cashless) tolling. The bridge will have a 100-year service life.
The new US 301 bridge project has been hailed by the local and regional community, including the adjacent Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, the area’s largest employer, and Naval Support Facility Indian Head.
Materials from the demolished bridge will be used to create an artificial fish reef. In addition, MDTA and SCM are partnering with the Potomac River Fisheries Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources to fund oyster seeding in the lower Potomac River basin.
As part of the procurement process, MDTA requested a bid option to add a separated bicycle/pedestrian path to the new structure. The proposal from SCM would cost an additional $64 million for a separated path with limited daily use. After a thorough discussion and analysis, as well as public testimony, the board voted instead to move forward with a project to improve safety and capacity for thousands along the I-95 corridor.
To expand practical access, the new Nice/Middleton Bridge will include several safety enhancements for bicyclists, including bicycle-friendly roadway joints and intelligent transportation systems tools such as lighting and signage.
- MDTA BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES TOLL MODERNIZATION PACKAGE SAVING CUSTOMERS $28 MILLION OVER 5 YEARS - November 21, 2019
- Cashless Tolling
- New Nice Bridge Project Update - January 18, 2018 Video link
- Nice Bridge - Project Briefing Presentation Board Meeting - November 21, 2016
- Nice Bridge Improvement Project (Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge, US 301)
Ms. Melissa Bogdan, Community Relations Project Manager
Maryland Transportation Authority
Division of Project Planning and Program Development
2310 Broening Highway
Baltimore, MD 21224