FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 14, 2012

Contact:  Kelly Melhem
                 410-537-1017

SECOND PHASE OF WESTBOUND BAY BRIDGE PAINTING BEGINS
Paving/line-striping work in toll plaza also to start late March

The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $20 million project  completely funded by tolls  to clean and paint structural steel components of the suspension span and towers of the westbound Bay Bridge (US 50/301).  In this second phase of painting, Blastech Enterprises, Inc., of Baltimore will remove the existing paint and repaint the structural steel below the roadway and the two towers above the roadway.

Motorists may observe platforms and containment tarps under the bridge, as well as tarps and scaffolding around the suspension towers.  A temporary work platform will also be installed above the roadway as part of the tower scaffolding.

Crews have begun installing equipment beneath the roadway. Most work will be performed from the water via barges.  However, installation of scaffolding around the towers is expected to begin mid to late March and will take place during several overnight closures of the westbound span.  Twoway traffic will operate on the eastbound span during these closures.    

This painting phase is expected to be complete by fall 2013.  Phase One, which includes cleaning and painting the steel girder spans just past the suspension span approaching the western shore, began in July 2011 and is expected to wrap up this fall.  Two additional phases of westbound-span painting are planned.

Reflecting the MDTAs commitment to the safety and preservation of the States aging toll bridges, tunnels and highways, this project will help protect the bridges steel components and maintain its structural integrity.  The bridge has not been fully painted since it opened in 1973.                       

Also in late March, the MDTA will repave and add line striping to a portion of US 50 prior to the toll plaza. The new line striping will guide drivers to the individual lanes in the toll plaza, helping to improve traffic flow.  Work will take place overnight for approximately two weeks and will involve lane closures in the toll-plaza area and temporary closures/detours of the ramps from Sandy Point to eastbound US 50 (Exit 32) and from Whitehall Road to eastbound US 50 (Exit 31).

Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt! Additional work scheduled this spring includes substructure repairs to the westbound bridge piers and rewrapping/dehumidification of the suspension cables for both spans.