The Maryland Transportation Authority on Thursday approved a construction contract for a new deck for the eastbound lanes of the Bay Bridge — and officials assured drivers that the work would be done in a way to minimize the effect on traffic.
The work is set to begin in the fall of 2023 and finish in the winter of 2025-2026, the authority said in a statement.
The eastbound span will close at night during the work, the authority said; the westbound span will open to two-way traffic. Crews will use precast panels, which will be brought to the bridge by barge.
“Unlike the 2019 westbound right lane overlay project, this project will replace the eastbound deck in sections — without the need for 24/7 closures,” MDTA Executive Director William Pines said in the statement. “We’ll utilize off-peak lane closures during the day to get work areas ready to ensure successful night shifts. During those overnight shifts we’ll remove portions of the bridge deck, install precast deck panels, secure openings between panels and reopen lanes in time for morning commuters.”
The authority likened the project to the re-decking of the westbound suspension span between 2007 and 2010: “That project successfully minimized traffic impacts for bridge commuters and local communities.”
Some of the existing deck of the eastbound bridge is nearly 50 years old, the authority said, and has already been extensively patched.
The contract was awarded to Kokosing McLean, the new name for a joint venture between Corman, of Annapolis Junction, and McLean Contracting, of Glen Burnie. That venture did the pre-construction work, which began in July 2021.
The contract is worth $140 million.