A temporary bridge has been constructed to diver traffic away from the workzone.
Frederick, Md (KM).Work is underway on replacing the Route 355 bridge over the railroad tracks at the Monocacy National Battlefield. The State Highway Administration says a temporary span to divert traffic away from the workzone has been completed. “This traffic pattern will be in affect until fall 2019 which is when we anticipate completing the project,” says SHA spokeswoman Shantee Felix.
She says the present bridge is 87 years old, and it has outlived its useful life. “It is what we call structurally deficient,” says Felix. “And that means while it’s safe to ride on, it’s still getting up there in age and we want to address that with repairs and rebuilding.”
Crews will take down the old bridge, and put up a new one. Felix says it will mean a lot of coordination between SHA and CSX, which moves its trains across those tracks. “We’re all in meetings and phone calls, and we all like to keep other abreast about what we’re doing. Our engineers are in constant communition with all our partners on the project,” she says.
Even though the project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019, Felix says the weather has been a consideration when putting together this schedule. “And we don’t know about the weather we’re going to get,” she says. “Our crews have always known to put weather into each and every project we do that we have to account for.”
The project is estimated to cost $8.2-million.
SHA says the bridge will not only have lanes for motor vehicles to travel, but an eight-food wide sidewalk on the east side of the bridge and bicycle-compatible shoulders. There will also be pedestrian trails on each side of the tracks.
The National Park Service says visitors will have access to the Battlefield during construction. But the New Jersey Monument and the nearby parking lot, which is just off Route 355 near the bridge, will be closed through the duration of the project.
By Kevin McManus