SHA: Rt. 272 bridge project to be re-bid

New fin­ish date is fall 2018, mayor says

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— Fol­low­ing months of un­cer­tainty and de­lays, the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Thurs­day that con­struc­tion on the Route 272 bridge project will be re-bid in De­cem­ber.

The news was first an­nounced at a North East town meet­ing on Wed­nes­day night when Mayor Robert McKnight said he’d been told by the agency that the project would be re-bid in De­cem­ber with con­struc­tion set to start in the spring and fin­ish by fall 2018.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, Char­lie Gis­chlar, spokesman for the Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion,

NORTH EAST

con­firmed that the project would be re-bid in De­cem­ber. The re­main­der of McKnight’s time­line “sounds about right,” he said, but more de­tails will be re­leased in the next few days.

The news comes af­ter a nearly eight-month work stop­page on the project that was char­ac­ter­ized by lit­tle pub­lic com­mu­ni­ca­tion from SHA, even as lo­cal of­fi­cials tried to get up­dates on the sta­tus of the bridge that serves as the main en­trance into town.

Con­struc­tion on the Route 272 bridge over Am­trak lines had been stalled since Fe­bru­ary due to a dis­pute be­tween the con­trac­tor, Mum­ford and Miller Concrete Inc., of Mid­dle­town, Del., and the state.

Dur­ing the nearly six months when the dis­pute was on­go­ing, SHA pro­vided lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about the bridge’s sta­tus, re­peat­edly telling lo­cal of­fi­cials that they couldn’t re­lease more de­tails be­cause it was a “le­gal mat­ter.” But at the end of Au­gust, the agency con­firmed that the dis­pute had been re­solved and the con­tract ter­mi­nated, and that a new bid pack­age was in the works.

At Wed­nes­day night’s town meet­ing, McKnight said SHA of­fi­cials told him that the new time­line would only be nine months longer than orig­i­nally planned.

“We’re not go­ing to ar­gue about days and months, we just want to get it fin­ished,” he said.

McKnight also noted that Del­e­gate Kevin Horn­berger (R-Ce­cil) and County Coun­cil­man Dan Sch­neck­en­burger had also reached out to him in the last few days to dis­cuss the bridge.

“All the govern­ments seem to be in line think­ing this is go­ing to get done and get done as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he said.

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