Councilman Marks: Joppa Road bridge reconstruction expected to be finished in June

UPDATE: The Joppa Road bridge has reopened.

Original story below…


PERRY HALL, MD—Baltimore County Councilman David Marks on Wednesday provided an update on the reconstruction of the Joppa Road bridge near Kahl Avenue in Perry Hall.

Bridge No. B-0545 on Joppa Road over Honeygo Run was closed to traffic in late January 2021. This closure was necessitated by advanced deterioration of the bridge that impacted its continued safe use. At the time of the closure, the county estimated it would be about four months before the repairs could be undertaken and the bridge re-opened to traffic.

The county has determined that the most fiscally responsible action is to replace the entire top portion of the structure given its age and condition. Bridge No. B-0545 was originally built around 1920 and widened in the 1940s. The original portion of the bridge is a concrete slab spanning between two stone masonry abutments. The 1920s portion of the concrete slab is the part that has advanced deterioration.

The county’s original time estimate of four months was based on the best information available at the time. Given this bridge’s unusual construction, a custom-designed repair will be necessary. This effort includes structural analysis and construction document preparation, environmental permitting and coordination with the adjacent property owner to undertake the work. Officials say this is not a repair that can be directly assigned to construction personnel, which is why the county is undertaking the necessary engineering studies for this project.

The county’s current plan is to begin construction operations in May, with the work taking about 6 weeks to complete. This would correspond to the bridge being completed and the road re-opening in mid- to late-June.

The county considers this to be a priority project.

In the words of the project engineer:

“We are aggressively investigating means and methods to move this project forward more quickly. This may include things such as removing the damaged portions of the structure before the design of the replacement portions are complete. We have and will continue to monitor the signed detour and make adjustments as needed.

“We realize this bridge closure is a significant burden on the local residences exasperated by the adjacent location of Honeygo Elementary School. Please be assured we are diligently working to repair this structure and re-open the roadway. We will proactively keep you informed of our progress and schedule as it develops.”

Councilman Marks urged the public to continue to be patient.

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