The State Highway Administration plans to resume work on its "bridge on wheels" project this weekend after construction mishaps and the former Hurricane Sandy delayed the installation of two new spans on West Nursery Road over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
The Anne Arundel County roadway is a crucial artery to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
This will be the second time workers will try to replace the aging West Nursery Road bridge over the parkway, or Route 295, by rolling in new, prefabricated bridge decks. The replacement bridge decks have been assembled in the parkway's median strip.
The first attempt two weekends ago was halted when the old 300-ton bridge deck over the northbound parkway shifted as the giant high-tech transporter tried to remove it. Four large cranes were brought in to lift the 60-year-old bridge back into place.
State officials say they intend to replace the spans over two successive weekends starting Nov. 2.
The SHA advised motorists to expect "significant" traffic disturbances on both West Nursery Road and the northbound parkway this weekend.
Road crews are to close one lane of Route 295 in both directions at the West Nursery Road interchange beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. At 10 p.m., all lanes of the parkway will be closed. The parkway is to reopen by 10 a.m. Saturday and remain open all day. The same closure schedule will begin again Saturday evening and continue into Sunday morning.
West Nursery Road will be closed at Route 295 at 10 p.m. Friday and will remain closed until 10 a.m. Sunday.
From Friday night until early Saturday, crews intend to remove the existing West Nursery Road deck over northbound Route 295 with hydraulic lifting devices and carry it several hundred feet to the parkway's median strip, where it can be demolished. Then the new deck will be wheeled into place.
Instead of the parkway, state highway officials advise motorists to use Interstate 95, U.S. 1 (Washington Boulevard) or U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike). Hammonds Ferry Road is proposed as an alternate to West Nursery Road.
Officials also pointed out that motorists using northbound I-97 should be aware that one lane from Benfield Boulevard to near Dorsey Road is closed for concrete repairs.
Weather permitting, state officials plan to repeat the closing schedule on the weekend beginning Nov. 9 to replace the West Nursery Road bridge deck over southbound Route 295.