Braces were installed on the span to allow crews to safely do their work.
Frederick, Md (KM). There’s some progress to report on repair work being done on the Rt. 355 bridge over the Monocacy River. “We were able to put the bracing in place, sistering of the joints, to take the load from the bridge on to the outside temporary structure that we were able to put up there to take that load,” says State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar. “And now we’re able to remove some of the metal beams that were damaged in there. We’re progressing along. They’re trying to expedite to get it open sooner rather than later.”
The bridge was damaged in early December when a trash truck hit one of the overhead beams. It has been closed since then, and traffic has been diverted to I-270.
Gisschlar says the beams need to be manufactured, measured and precisely installed before the span can reopen to traffic. Shortly after it was damaged, Gischlar had said the bridge could be closed for up to 60 days. But with this temporary structure, he indicates the bridge could reopen much sooner, although he did not set a specific date or time line.
He says this development in repairing the span is “a very key piece of the progress here.” “Basically, those beams are absorbing the load of the bridge.. That actually allows us to go on and take the damaged beams from the crash out and put the new beams in,” says Gischlar.
Prior to the accident, Gischlar says this bridge was structurally sound. It was built in 1930, and underwent a major upgrade in 1980.
By Kevin McManus