SHA to Inspect MD 231 'Functionally Obsolete' Benedict Bridge Next Week

BALTIMORE (Feb. 26, 2010) - The Maryland State Highway Administration will be conducting its biennial inspection of the MD 231 Bridge over the Patuxent River ("Benedict Bridge") beginning on or about Monday, March 1. The inspection process will take approximately one week, weather permitting, and will involve the use of boats as well as inspection vehicles on the bridge. Inspection times will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Motorists should expect flagging operations on the bridge during these times.

Built in 1952, the MD 231 Bridge over the Patuxent River is currently classified as "Functionally Obsolete." According to an MSNBC report on bridge inspections, "Functionally obsolete bridges do not meet current criteria for deck geometry (such as lane width), load carrying capacity, clearance, or approach roadway alignment."

In addition to the inspection, SHA has begun cleaning and repainting the bridge's structural steel and swingspan mechanism. This project is expected to take place through spring 2011. Nearly all of this work will be underneath the bridge from platforms and barges, but motorists should expect occasional flagging operations on the bridge for equipment and material delivery, as well as installation and maintenance of the platform and containment system.

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