Ches. City bridge lanes re­open ahead of project fin­ish

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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 &

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

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.

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