WASHINGTON – Eleven bridges in four Western Maryland counties are rated by the state as structurally deficient and must be replaced or repaired, state records show.
State data released in February indicate the bridges received a rating of two, on a scale of two to nine, with nine being the best. A rating of two means the bridges require replacement or considerable reconstruction, said Maryland State Highway Administration officials.Allegany County
Many of the bridges maintained by Allegany County are functionally obsolete, said Kevin Beachy, transportation division chief for the Allegany County Department of Public Works. Seventy-five of Allegany’s 113 bridges, or two-thirds, have posted weight limits to ward off heavy vehicles.
Two state-maintained bridges in the county – one over Georges Creek at state Route 935 and one over Jennings Run at state Route 347 – are scheduled for rehabilitation before the end of fiscal year 1997, state records show.
Another bridge, Proenty Road Bridge over Jennings Run, will be replaced by January 1996.
The estimated replacement cost is $325,000, with 80 percent of the funds coming from the state and 20 percent from local bonds, Beachy said.
“It’s more economical and feasible to replace the bridge than to rebuild the existing bridge because it’s outdated,” Beachy said of the one-lane bridge near Corrigansville, Md. “It’s functionally obsolete.”
He said a weight limit of 3 tons has been posted on the Proenty Road Bridge. This means no emergency vehicles, school buses or large trucks can use it.Frederick County
Two bridges in Frederick County were rated for replacement, state records show.
The bridge at Blacks Mill Road over Little Hunting Creek has been closed to traffic since Oct. 11, said Tom Meunier, division chief for transportation engineering for the county. He said county engineers are developing a design and rehabilitation scheme for the bridge.
It will likely reopen within six months and is being repaired with county money, Meunier said.
Another county bridge, on Sumantown Road over Cactoctin Creek, has a weight limit of 3 tons due to needed repairs, Meunier said. The bridge is scheduled for repair by the end of fiscal year 2001.Garrett County
Like Allegany County, Garrett County has many older, narrower bridges that weren’t designed for current traffic loads, said Lee Thorne, an engineer for the county roads department. The main problem is making the bridges sufficiently big and strong to accommodate the trucks that frequently use them.
Parapets, or side walls, of several bridges have been damaged by trucks scraping against them, Thorne said.
“It’s not just the weight, it’s also the width,” he said.
The county has five bridges that require replacement.
One, over Bear Creek at Arthur Divine Road, received a new superstructure last September and was reopened to traffic in November, Thorne said.
County engineers are planning with the Army Corps of Engineers to replace a historical bridge over Casselman River at River Road, he said.
A consultant is being sought to design replacements for bridges at Westernport Road and Savage River Road over Big Savage River, Thorne said.
No action is planned for a fifth bridge, at Avilton Lonacon Road over Savage River. The project is considered to be less critical than the others, Thorne said.
He added that as many as five other Garrett County bridges will be replaced or substantially rebuilt within the next three years.Washington County
Two Washington County bridges are listed by the state as requiring replacement.
One state-maintained bridge over Beaver Creek at state Route 68 has been scheduled for reconstruction by the end of fiscal year 1997.
The other, a county bridge over Beaver Creek at Old Roxbury Road, is not scheduled for corrective action.
“It’s not a high critical priority right now,” said Terrence McGee, engineer for the Washington County Department of Public Works. A 9-ton weight limit has been placed on the bridge, three times higher than the minimum allowable weight limit of 3 tons.
McGee said several other bridges in Washington County require more attention than the one at Beaver Creek.
Engineers hope to begin construction this year on Nicodemus Mill Road Bridge, located between Boonsboro and Keedysville, he said. Federal funds are being sought for four bridge replacement projects, including one near Hagerstown at Old Forge Road and another, west of the city at Cedar Ridge Road, he said.
Bridge officials from the four counties said they have not had serious problems getting money for vital bridge projects.
“Up to this point, we’ve been pretty lucky,” Beachy said.