Thursday, August 27, 2009
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, local officials and residents celebrated the reopening of the East Deer Park Drive Bridge in Gaithersburg on August 24 after the completion of urgent repairs this summer. The historic bridge, constructed in 1946, had deteriorated with age.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Division of Transportation Engineering conducts routine bridge inspections. In 2008 it found that the timber supports for the bridge’s steel beams were in an advanced state of decay and needed to be replaced within 12 months. Because of the need to act quickly and the location of the bridge over railroad tracks, the project presented some unique challenges. Temporary steel beams placed across the bridge suspended hangers that lifted the superstructure and allowed access to the bridge supports while they were replaced. MCDOT also resurfaced the bridge deck with asphalt.
MCDOT operates a model bridge inspection, repair and maintenance program for the county’s 319 bridges. Of these bridges, 199 are defined as long-span -- more than 20 feet long -- and 120 are short-span --between six and 20 feet in length. Inspection schedules for bridges are specified by Federal guidelines. Long-span bridges are inspected every two years with the Federal government providing funding for the inspections. The County pays for inspection of short-span bridges, which is done every four years. Following each inspection cycle, MCDOT initiates repair or replacement of priority bridges. The County also funds minor rehabilitation of bridges and preservation efforts that maintain bridges by painting the steel components.
POSTED AT: 10:28:00 AM