Maryland official says Feds dragging their feet on funding as bridge nears completion…. Let’s Go, Brandon!
From Maryland Matters:
The state applied for a $200 million loan through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program in mid-2019, expecting the approval process to take about a year.
But in an update for the authority’s board of directors, Allan W. Garman, who heads the MDTA Treasury and Debt Division, said the U.S. Department of Transportation has yet to sign off on the loan.
“The loan is essentially stalled” with the agency’s Credit Counsel, which administers borrowing programs, Garman said. “We believe the loan is in jeopardy of not being approved, and that’s despite our compliance with all federal guidelines.” MORE
Construction Sequence 5:
(2021) After the bridge’s girders are installed, work begins on the concrete deck (bridge roadway). The first step is mounting deck pans, which are stay-in-place forms that support fluid concrete in the spaces between the girders. The pans are set to conform to the grade of the bridge, and seams between the pans are sealed to prevent leakage of concrete.
Installed simultaneously and bookending the locations of the deck pans are temporary deck overhangs. These timber forms and walkways are supported by steel frames that provide work areas for the operation of the concrete screed, which is the deck finishing machine.
Once the deck pans are secured, a labyrinth of reinforcing steel (rebar) is installed over the pans and girders. Individual rebar pieces are spliced together to make long segments, which are then laid out in a tight grid and tied together with heavy grade wire.
Next, concrete is pumped into the deck pans and around the rebar. A screed is mounted on a truss structure that travels on temporary rails placed on the deck overhangs to spread and finish the concrete. The screed advances forward slowly, moving side to side – a deliberate pace that ensures the concrete is properly placed and the rollers have sufficient contact to create a smooth surface.
After the concrete deck is completed, concrete traffic barriers and signage are installed to facilitate efficient and safe traffic flow. The final step to complete the bridge is affixing pavement markers and striping to delineate lanes and shoulders.
Governor Larry Hogan Announces $765 Million for New Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
Construction to Begin in 2020, Completion Anticipated in 2023 – Seven Years Sooner than Legislatively Mandated Plan
Despite being located in the congressional district of one of the most powerful members of Congress – Steny Hoyer – who could never produce a new bridge for his district in his more than thirty years in Congress, it takes a Republican Governor to “Get ‘er Done”
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Standing at the base of the 75-year-old Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, Governor Larry Hogan, on Nov. 22, 2016, announced $765 million in funding for construction of a new Potomac River crossing from Charles County, Maryland, to King George County, Virginia. This crossing is vital to the nation’s security and to the quality of life of thousands of Marylanders who depend on this bridge daily for work, business, and recreation. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) anticipates advertising a design-build contract for the new bridge in 2018, starting construction in 2020, and opening a new, wider, and safer bridge in 2023 – seven years sooner than the plan legislatively mandated this past session through Senate Bill 907.
Currently, there are 1,073 transportation projects, totaling nearly $8 billion dollars, under construction across the state – a record amount for the state of Maryland.
“With this announcement, I am extremely proud to officially dedicate more than $760 million dollars to fully fund a new Potomac River bridge and finally replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge,” said Governor Hogan. “From the start, our administration has consistently taken every step necessary to expeditiously push forward with this much-needed replacement project, and going forward we will continue to push to ensure it’s completed as fast and efficiently as possible. Simply put, Marylanders deserve better than the daily congestion caused by the current bridge, and with the construction of this new bridge, they will finally get it.”
Governor Hogan and the administration have been strong advocates for replacing the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge since taking office. Under the governor’s leadership, the Board of Public Works approved a $15 million contract for preliminary design and engineering of the replacement bridge in 2015. In addition, the administration allocated over $61 million toward this project in the FY 2017-2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). Using this funding, MDTA has begun preliminary engineering for the new bridge, which includes environmental studies, test borings, right-of-way acquisition, and preliminary engineering for replacement designs. This is the final step before design can begin.
With only one, narrow lane in each direction, the existing bridge causes near-daily congestion and traffic issues. Routine maintenance and large-scale preservation efforts have significant traffic impacts. The new bridge will be built north of and parallel to the existing 1.7-mile bridge and will include two lanes of traffic in each direction and a barrier-separated bicycle and pedestrian path.
MDTA was able to reduce the initial $1 billion price tag of the project by more than $200 million by taking a practical design approach to the new bridge. This project is anticipated to support an estimated 1,180 jobs per year over five years.
“By right-sizing the bridge design, we’re able to deliver an affordable new bridge and do it years sooner,” said Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn.
Without the construction of this project, the current bridge would have required a major rehabilitation project in the next five years. The MDTA will demolish the existing bridge after the new bridge opens.