Baltimore-Washington Parkway reopens after bridge repair is a success

After some trouble on the first attempt, the State Highway Administration removed the 300-ton West Nursery Road bridge over the northbound lanes of Baltimore-Washington Parkway overnight and reopened the road early Saturday.

Crews used hydraulic equipment to lift the bridge deck out of place, after an attempt two weeks ago that failed when the load shifted and the Highway Administration had to assemble a massive crane on the parkway to lift the deck back into place.

The parkway reopened at 7:30 a.m. after the bridge was carried several hundred feet north on the parkway, also called Route 295, and dropped off in the median. It will be demolished and turned into scrap this week, said Melinda B. Peters, highway administrator.

The parkway will close again at 10 p.m. Saturday when crews will wheel a new bridge into place using the same technique. West Nursery Road will remain closed until the new bridge is in place Sunday.

"The first phase of the 'bridge on wheels' deck replacement worked well," Peters said in a statement. "Crews executed a safe, flawless bridge move this morning and restored traffic on Route 295 ahead of schedule.

"This innovative approach to bridge reconstruction is a new technology that saves time and substantially compresses the impact to traffic to a few weekends instead of two construction seasons."

The West Nursery Road bridge over the parkway's southbound lanes will be replaced beginning Friday, Nov. 9, weather permitting.

Drivers should use interstates 95 and 97, Washington Boulevard or Columbia Pike as alternative routes during the closures. Hammonds Ferry Road is an alternative for West Nursery Road.

Officials also said airport travelers should factor possible delays into their plans.

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