Com­pleted Ches. City Bridge work pleases town

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

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.

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