(April 12, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) has updated its work schedule for the steel repairs on the MD 213 (Maple Avenue) drawbridge over Chester River this spring. SHA revised its original schedule that included multi-day (up to five), 24-hour flagging operations for steel beam work for five weeks.
SHA’s contractor will only close a lane and alternate traffic with flagging operations during nighttime hours, Sundays through Thursdays to minimize impacts to businesses and local traffic. To safely replace five steel beams, Covington Machine and Welding crews will also need to open the drawbridge for brief periods (15 minutes) during late night hours.
SHA planned a more extensive 24-hour flagging operation that minimized the duration of the repair work. SHA revised the plan this week based on community input, extending the length of time for completion of the steel repair and avoiding daytime lane closures. The steel work is in advance of major cleaning and painting scheduled to begin mid-July.
The contractor will work below the bridge deck during the day and on weekends to ensure all steel repairs are complete before mid-July. Any work during peak travel times, including weekends, will not involve lane closures.
“This is essential work that must be done to keep the bridge operational and safe,” said District Engineer Greg Holsey, adding “We’ve listened to residents, business owners, emergency services and elected officials who asked us to find the best way to do the work with the least impact to traffic. We appreciate the support and guidance provided by the project task force and tourism officials.”
Covington has been working on the bridge since January, with most activity occurring from barges and not impacting traffic. Originally constructed in 1930, the MD 213 drawbridge over Chester River carries an average of 14,000 vehicles each day.