Averella said AAA is "pleased that the majority of work that will be performed on the JFX will take place during off-peak hours, as this will limit delays and reduce risks to the workers performing the repairs."

Under federal guidelines, the rubber joints of the JFX must be inspected every two years, so the city knew the work was coming, Weaver said.

Unlike the emergency repairs last year, the city has more control over this project and its hours. For example, it will be possible to delay a closure on a night when a big sports game is played in one of the downtown stadiums, city officials said. Such leeway is built into the city's contract with the winning bidder, Baltimore-based Orfanos Contractors.

For the repairs to the gas line under Light Street, the six-week time frame could be shortened or extended once contractors go underground and determine the extent of the leak, said Aaron Koos, a BGE spokesman.

"Until we get in there, we don't know exactly what the cause is," he said. "But we will be getting in there soon."

Monitors have shown that the leak is not a safety hazard now, but the fix is something BGE needs to complete "before winter kicks in and demand goes up," Koos said.

The work was delayed already by the Grand Prix of Baltimore, he said.

"Normally, this is something that we would try to do earlier in the summer when traffic is lighter," Koos said, "but we actually scheduled this work around the Grand Prix to make sure we were accommodating to that and stayed out of the way."

At the Bay Bridge, the westbound span will be closed next week between 9 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday night through Friday morning, and from 10 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday. During those times, two-way traffic will be opened on the eastbound span.

One lane of the westbound span may also be closed between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday; between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesday; and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday. One lane of the eastbound span may be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Two-way traffic would operate on the westbound span during that time.

Brief, one-lane closures lasting about 15 minutes may also occur on both spans during the week as maintenance crews are dropped off or picked up.

The highway carries about 60,000 vehicles each weekday between Fayette and Madison streets.

krector@baltsun.com

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