Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones

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Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones

  • Montgomery County bridge project hits a snag

    Posted by WTOP/Dave Dildine
     
    Robert from Montgomery County writes:
     

    "Work to replace the Seminary Road bridge over the Beltway west of Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County has been going on since late 2017. Beltway lanes remain shifted. The deck of the southbound lanes of Seminary Road over the bridge was removed months ago with all traffic shifted to the northbound lanes. It appears that little or no work has been going on at the bridge for months. The project is obviously less than half done since the southbound deck has to be replaced before work can even start on the northbound lanes of Seminary Road. Why is progress on this project so slow and when will it be completed?"

     
    Great question, Robert. The WTOP Traffic Center is just as eager as you are to see that project completed.
     
    When crews started dismantling the Seminary Road overpass for rehabilitation, they also retired a pole-mounted camera perched on its parapet. That camera was able to see a great distance down both loops of the Beltway-- a stretch of Interstate 495 that sees more crashes than any other. We've been much more reliant on our tipsters (866-304-9867) for help with incidents since the camera went dark. 
     
    You are not imagining things. This bridge replacement project is taking longer than first planned. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration tells us that when crews began the first reconstruction phase following the demolition you described, they hit a snag: They found that the bridge pier caps needed to be adjusted for safety reasons.
     
    The Seminary Road overpass spans the Beltway. (Courtesy MDOT SHA)
     
     
    Bridge caps are basically the seating that supports the girders and rest of the superstructure, including the driving surface.
     
    The unexpected added demolition of the caps, or "headstock," resulted in a lull in activity last winter. The estimated project completion date was recently extended into this coming winter.
     
    Looking ahead, once the new headstock is squared away, installation of steel beams for the new structure may necessitate intermittent stoppages of Beltway traffic of up to 15 minutes.
     
    MDOT SHA said they're appreciative of the community's patience during the project.
     
    Oh, and for what's it's worth, SHA does assure us that the traffic camera will be reactivated when the project nears completion. But we still want our listeners to call whenever they spot a major incident. For those with AT&T or Verizon Wireless, it's as easy as dialing #1035.-
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