The project will cost $8.2-million.
Frederick, Md (KM). A major bridge replacement project is underway in Frederick County. The Maryland State Highway Administration will be demolishing the Rt. 355 (Urbana Pike) span over the railroad tracks at the Monocacy National Battlefield, and install a new span. Spokesman Charlie Gischlar says the current bridge is 87 years old. . “It It’s sees a lot of traffic each day,” says spokesman Charlie Gischlar. “It’s at its service life end right now. It’s still safe, obviously to travel on, but it is one of these things where it’s economically feasible to replace it with a brand new structure, which we’re about to do.”
He says right now, crews are establishing a field office, and hope to started very soon. “Because it’s right near the historical battlefield, we’re going to be installing a temporary bridge there to handle the traffic, the pedestrians and the bicyclists,” says Gischlar.
In addition, this temporary bridge will help make sure motorists aren’t being delayed while the construction is underway. “It will be installed, and then we can really get a lot done without having to work underneath the traffic, with blocking lanes,” he says
Because CSX uses the tracks which go under the bridge, SHA says it will be coordinating its work schedule with the rail company. “We do work very, very closely with the train company, CSX, so we’ll have to plan our demolition accordingly,” says Gischlar.
The work is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019 at a cost of $8.2-million.
In addition to lanes for motor vehicles, Gischlar says the new span will have an eight-foot sidewalk on the east side, and bicycle-compatible shoulders. “There’s going to be pedestrian trails or either side of those tracks,” he says. “It can all work as a system together. People can walk on top of the bridge and walk down and access these trails to see the national park there.”
“We’re hoping to get another 75 years out of the new bridge,” he says. “We won’t have to be bothering anybody for a long, long time.”
SHA says this project is part of Governor Larry Hogan’s plans to replace on fix 69 structurally deficient bridges across Maryland. The agency says 41 have been rehabilitated or replaced, and 28 are in various stages of design, or moving toward construction or repair.
By Kevin McManus
Md 355 Bridge Over the Railroad Tracks, Frederick. (Photo from SHA)