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Date: Dec 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 20, 2012

Contact:          Kelly Melhem

                        410-537-1017

FHWA SIGNS OFF ON NICE BRIDGE PLANNING STUDY
Selected Alternative Includes New Four Lane Bridge with Bike/Ped Path;
Planning Phase of Nice Bridge Improvement Project Now Complete

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) has completed a six-year study to select an alternative to eventually replace the 72-year-old, two-lane Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301), which connects Charles County, Md., and King George County, Va., across the Potomac River. 

The final environmental document for the Nice Bridge Improvement Project – the Finding of No Significant Impact/Final Section 4(f) Evaluation or FONSI – was recently signed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), signaling the end to the project’s planning phase.

“Just the planning alone for this project was a significant undertaking, involving extensive input from federal, state and local agencies, elected officials and the public.  I want to thank all who contributed to this effort,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Darrell B. Mobley.   “The significant challenge of moving this project forward and funding the estimated $850 million construction project remains.  We will continue to work with our federal and local partners to develop a path that will make the eventual replacement of the Nice Bridge a reality at some point in the future.” 

The planning study was performed and completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If funding becomes available, the next steps include final engineering/design, right-of-way acquisition and construction of the bridge.

“Making strategic investments in our local infrastructure is critical to supporting the local flow of commerce, boosting our economic competitiveness, and ensuring the safety of our residents,” stated Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “That’s why I strongly support making investments needed to eventually replace the Nice Bridge, which serves as a critical evacuation route in the event of a national disaster or security alert and links the region’s military facilities, contractors, suppliers, and businesses. With the planning phase complete, I will continue working with federal, state, and local officials to identify funding needed to move this project forward.”

The alternative selected (Modified Alternate 7) consists of a new four-lane bridge built parallel to and north of the existing bridge, with a two-way bicycle/pedestrian path along the south side, and removal of the existing bridge.  A designated path on each shore would guide bikers and pedestrians to the appropriate outside shoulder along the US 301 approach roadway.  Inclusion of a bike/ped path reflects public comments and recently enacted State legislation. 

“This is exciting news for Charles County and the region,” said Maryland Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton.  “This is a big step forward on a project that will improve transportation, security and the economy for Southern Marylanders.  I am grateful to Governor O’Malley and the Maryland Transportation Authority for working with us to make it a priority.”

The FONSI/4(f) document will be available at mdta.maryland.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 6, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

DECK REPLACEMENT PROJECT BEGINS ON THREE I-895 BRIDGES IN BALTIMORE CITY
Work Includes 24/7 Ramp Closures Starting On Or About Jan. 7, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $12.6 million deck replacement project is underway on three bridges carrying I-895 over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street, south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.  This preservation project, funded completely by toll revenue, is part of the MDTA’s commitment to preserving and maintaining the State’s aging toll bridges, tunnels and highways.

I-895 Ramp Closure Map

Construction is expected to last approximately 1.5 years.  Work includes continuous (24/7) ramp closures starting in early January.  The entrance ramp from Potee Street/ Patapsco Avenue to northbound I-895 will be closed on or about Jan. 7, 2013, for approximately six months.  Once the work on the entrance ramp is complete, the I-895 Exit 7 (Potee Street) ramp will be closed in June 2013 for approximately six months.

The Six-M Company, Inc. will replace the bridge decks on the I-895 bridges over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street.  Work also includes painting and repairing the substructure and superstructure of the bridges.  Milling and overlaying of mainline I-895 between the K-Truss steel bridge and Exit 6 (MD 2/I-97) will be performed along with drainage improvements.

During the six-month closure of the Potee Street /Patapsco Avenue entrance ramp, a detour will direct motorists to northbound I-895 via Frankfurst Avenue.  During the six-month closure of the Potee Street exit ramp, a detour will direct motorists to I-895 Exit 3 (I-695 INNER LOOP), to Exit 10 (Washington Boulevard), to Patapsco Avenue.

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway and its approach roadways and ramps, including the I-895 bridges over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street, opened in 1957.  Other contracts in the area include cleaning and painting projects that are underway for various bridges along I-895.  A bridge deck overlay project for the ramp from northbound I-97 to northbound I-895 is anticipated to start early 2013.

Portable and overhead electronic message signs will display travel information.  For information on the MDTA’s other facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  For statewide travel conditions, visit www.MD511.ORG or call 511.

Follow the MDTA at www.twitter.com/TheMDTA and www.facebook.com/TheMDTA.

The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!