Ches. City bridge lanes reopen ahead of project finish
— After five months of waiting, drivers crossing the C&D Canal are now getting a reprieve, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials.
With the completion of the Chesapeake City Bridge repainting project just days away now, the State Highway Administration has removed the temporary traffic lights that had become a daily part of canal crossings.
Crews with Corcon Inc., an Ohio-based construction firm that specializes in bridge painting, will still close one lane at a time using flaggers during daytime hours — between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. — as they install the last of the chainlink safety fence and finish the last repairs in the project. Outside of those hours, however, drivers will have access to both travel lanes for twoway traffic.
Work on the bridge’s south stairway has also been completed and work on the north stairway is ongoing.
While the original completion date was set for late October, the finish date for the repainting project was pushed back to the second or third week of November to account for project interruptions, officials said.
The Corps, which maintains the 68-yearold bridge as the agency responsible for the upkeep and safety of the Chesapeake &
Delaware Canal, originally hoped to start the project in late April, but instead kicked off in early June as it worked through traffic control issues.
Corcon, which has completed major projects like the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, has been tasked with the $6.8 million project, which will both beautify and protect the bridge, as crews sandblast off the deteriorating paint from rails and stairwells along the bridge, replace the chain link fencing, complete necessary repairs and repaint the affected areas.
With crews working perilously close to traffic on the two-lane bridge; however, it required a closure of one lane for the duration of the project, creating traffic delays for the 13,500 vehicles that cross the span daily.
Crews have removed the temporary traffic lights on the Chesapeake City Bridge as the project draws to a close. Flaggers will still close one lane as crews finish the last repairs.