Crane Allows for Off-Peak, Under-Bridge Utility Work;
Minimal Traffic Impact Expected, but Drivers Reminded to Stay Alert;
Reminder to Mariners: Make No Wake for Worker and Waterway Safety
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 7, 2023) – Work on the first section of the Eastbound Bay Bridge Deck Replacement will get underway this fall, but motorists will soon see a crane alongside the bridge to perform some under-bridge utility work in preparation for the project. A tall crane (see photo) will be in place along the bridge starting in mid-March for work that will occur during routine off-peak lane closures. Additional cranes will be used during the deck replacement and maintenance.
While traffic impacts are expected to be minimal, drivers will be able to see the crane when crossing the bridge. With safety in mind, the Maryland Transportation Authority is reminding motorists to pay attention to the road and obey overhead lane-use signals at all times. The crane will operate along various sections of the bridge from the western shore to the eastern shore, and a second crane will arrive late spring for additional advance under-bridge work.
Work on Eastbound Deck Replacement Begins this Fall
Once work gets underway this fall, construction on the first section of the eastbound deck replacement is expected to continue into 2025, with additional sections to follow based on available funding and bridge conditions. The first section, on the Eastern Shore side of the eastbound span, is nearly one mile of the overall 4.35-mile-long bridge. Areas of the existing eastbound deck are nearly 50 years old and have reached the end of their service life.
The Maryland Transportation Authority has designed the project to ensure minimal traffic impacts, with no need for 24/7 lane closures. Major work will be accomplished overnight with two-way operations on the westbound span (weather permitting), and both spans will be open for drivers during peak periods. Crews will utilize off-peak lane closures during the day to get work areas ready for successful night shifts.
The new pre-cast deck sections will be fabricated off-site and barged to the Bay Bridge. During overnight shifts, crews will remove portions of the existing bridge deck, install new precast deck panels and reopen lanes in time for morning commuters.
The Eastbound Bay Bridge Deck Replacement includes replacement of the deck floor, barrier upgrades, structural rehabilitation of the steel superstructure, lane-use signal gantry replacements and utility relocations, as well as off-site stormwater management work. In October 2022, the Maryland Transportation Authority Board approved the construction services contract for the first section to Kokosing McLean, of Anne Arundel County.
MDTA’s 2015 Bay Bridge Life Cycle Cost Analysis identified this initial section – known as a deck truss section, see area shown at right – as the first in a series of projects over the next several decades to maintain safe and working order conditions for the 71-year-old span. The timing of future phases and other projects will depend on available funding and bridge conditions.
Residents and commuters can obtain additional information and 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 on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA and on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. Sign up for email/text alerts here.