Baltimore County gave an update to Councilman David Marks about the Joppa Road Bridge in Perry Hall and it appears the bridge reopening is pushed back to November.
The bridge has been closed since January and there was hope that it would open in October. The bridge is located between Snyder Lane and Honeygo Boulevard.
Marks shared the letter with his constituents from Kevin J. Sabolcik from
Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation.
The precast concrete slabs (spanning elements) have been fabricated and are awaiting shipping. The critical path for the project now is obtaining the bearing pad, reinforced neoprene pads that the spanning slabs rest on at the abutment supports. These pads are custom designed for each bridge and are not off-the-shelve items. Due to supply issues related to natural rubber supply we have been informed the pads will not be available until late October.
Typically the turn-around time for these items is only a few weeks. Once the pads are received it will take our forces roughly three weeks to complete the work (set the precast concrete slabs, place the cast-in-place concrete traffic barriers, pave the roadway and install necessary approach traffic barrier treatments). As such it will be mid to late November before the bridge is re-opened to traffic.
Unfortunately, until the bearing pads are available there aren’t many activities that can be performed at the bridge. As we undertook the design and construction of this project on parallel production tracks there have been long durations where there is no activity at the bridge.
The overall time duration would have been roughly the same had we undertaken this project in a more conventional manner of completing the design 100 percent and then started construction.
Please be aware this project is one of our highest priorities. Once completed we anticipate this structure will have a service life of at least 50 years with minimal maintenance needs.
Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.
Kevin J. Sabolcik, P.E., Chief
Structural Design Section
Bureau of Engineering & Construction
Marks said he knows residents of the Perry Hall area are upset with the bridge closure, but he said the delays are beyond Baltimore County’s control.
“The Joppa Road bridge delays are not due to incompetent county staff or any of the other claims I have heard. The delays are due to national shortages of materials – the same issues affecting every industry right now,” Marks wrote in a statement.
“I don’t have a pile of bridge parts in the backyard of my townhouse right now. If I had the power to fix this bridge today, I would do it. I know you are frustrated and angry – I am, too. My senior citizen parents are a half-mile from here, so it affects me as well. We will continue to do everything to push this along.”