Route 40 paving, Rock Run Bridge near completion
Projects face weatherrelated timeline
— The Maryland State Highway Administration is assuring Cecil County motorists that two of its largest projects are just about finished: the repaving of Route 40 from North East to Perryville and the replacement of the Rock Run Bridge on Route 222 in Port Deposit.
Robert Rager, SHA district community liaison, said Tuesday that the $6.8 million project awarded to Allan Myers Construction to repave Route 40 from Route 222 to Route 272 is in its final phases,
with the paving to be finished Friday.
“Their priority is to get the asphalt down,” Rager said. “The good thing about Allan Myers is they have their own asphalt plant.”
Asphalt leaves the plant at a temperature of 300 to 350 degrees and must maintain a certain temperature in order to be properly applied, which can make paving more difficult in colder temperatures. But Rager said that since Allan Myers has a plant in the county, the asphalt doesn’t lose much heat before it’s applied to the road.
Rager said the milling and paving absolutely had to be finished before any significant snowfall.
According to Rager, with the road paving on Route 40 completed this week it leaves only reflective markers, striping and rumble strips on the punch list.
“The reflective pavement markers may take longer because the epoxy needs 40 degrees to set,” Rager said. “The road striping is also temperature sensitive.”
SHA is aware of motorist complaints about the project, Rager said.
“One of the measures we have is ride quality. If it’s insufficient, we make them do it over,” Rager said. “We’re certainly aware of the ride conditions.”
In Port Deposit, meanwhile, the Rock Run Bridge has been delayed and Richard E. Pierson Construction of Pilesgrove, N.J., has moved its completion date again for the $2.8 million project to replace the bridge on the northern end of town with a wider span, which allows for a pedestrian right-of-way. Rock Run initially was to be finished in November, and then December.
Rager said the deck beams over Rock Run were placed Monday.
“So the bulk of the work now is aimed at getting the deck formed and poured as soon as possible,” he said, adding it can be done in spite of the frigid temperatures. “Once the deck is poured it has to cure for a few weeks. With decent weather the bridge should open in mid- to late January.”
Pierson Construction does has to import its asphalt, which Rager said impacts the ability to pave.
“The asphalt plants shut down (in winter). They will have to make arrangements,” Rager said.
The Rock Run project was delayed somewhat when utility work undertaken by Artesian Water was integrated into the bridge replacement project. Artesian replaced some water lines and repaired others to correct inflow and infiltration issues.
“Remember this is not just a replacement. It’s a relocation/realignment of the bridge and the roadway approaches involving multiple utility relocations in a very tight area,” he said.
However, he added all SHA contracts have a “liquidated damages” clause, which levies penalties for work not done on time. It’s often legal counsel who decide the definition of “late,” he noted.
The Allan Myers Construction crew on U.S. Route 40 was milling, vacuuming and sweeping the shoulder in advance of paving Tuesday.