Completed Ches. City Bridge work pleases town
— After a long summer and fall, town officials are happy to finally say that the work on the Chesapeake City Bridge has come to a close.
The last of the contractor’s equipment was removed from the bridge just before Thanksgiving, allowing twoway traffic to flow freely 24/7 for the first time since June.
Chesapeake City Mayor Dean Geracimos said the finished bridge is “another step forward” for his town.
“Our residents, business and schools are all relieved that the project is done,” he said. “Most residents love the results, and I think the before and after pictures are amazing. It certainly gives our town a much better, cleaner look.”
Geracimos made refreshing the town’s look and infrastructure part of his administration’s multi-pronged revitalization plan, but the 68-year-old bridge that’s central to the bisected town was a major eyesore. Its last repainting in 2000 didn’t have enough funding to cover the railings or do a thorough sandblasting, which led the original paint to flake off and rust to show through for much of the span.
The mayor only hopes now that the fruits of the $6.8 million project last as long as they’re expected.
“Everyone’s fingers are crossed that the refurbished railings hold up for years to come,” he said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains all bridges over the C&D Canal as the agency responsible for the upkeep and safety of the shipping lane, originally hoped to start the project in late April, but instead kicked off in early June as it worked through traffic control issues.
Corcon Inc., an Ohio-based construction firm that specializes in bridge painting and has completed major projects like the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, was selected for the project that both beautified and will protect the bridge, as crews sandblasted off the deteriorating paint from rails and stairwells along the bridge, replaced the chain link fencing, completed necessary repairs and repainted 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.
On-scene officers discuss the case after a gunman robbed a Perryville liquor store on Monday night and fled with an undisclosed sum of cash.