Over the next few weekends, the Maryland Department of Transportation (DoT) will work with concrete contractors and repairers to help remove concrete from bridges spread throughout the state. After inspecting 69 bridges in the state, more than two dozen needed work to remove concrete that could pose a threat to travelers. A few months back, a driver’s car was struck by falling concrete, prompting Maryland to take the issue more seriously.
Pete K. Rahn, Maryland’s acting Transportation Secretary, ordered the inspections at bridges in the state after the incident. From there, Maryland was able to put the first steps of repairing, removing and renovating bridges, starting with the worst offenders. Over the course of a weekend, the State Highway Administration’s (SHA) crews worked to remove concrete that posed safety risks for commuters.
The following counties saw concrete removal:
- Prince George
- Queen Anne’s County
19 bridges have been recommended to have concrete removed and over the coming weeks, the SHA crews will begin the process. Patch concrete, wooden planning and other issues with these bridges will be addressed during this time to improve the overall safety of the bridges for commuters. Most of these bridges have been put on lists with the state to be funded for full repairs and even replacements over the last few years.
Concrete bridges are a staple of the American highway system and many bridges across the country are facing the same fates as what’s happening in Maryland. As states look for the funds and send out repair crews, there’s only so much repairing that can be done to bridges before they need to be replaced. Many bridges were built decades ago and thanks to wear and tear, need more than just a patch job to be brought up to par.
While these bridges are still safe for travel, they can pose issues for safety like when a commuter’s car was hit.