Weems Creek crossing to be closed

June 02, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

The Weems Creek Bridge in Annapolis will close tomorrow as the State Highway Administration begins to tear down the 67-year-old wooden and steel structure to replace it with a state-of-the-art concrete and steel bridge.

The $5.9 million project should be complete next spring, according to state highway officials.

Signs, cones and barricades will direct motorists from the Ridgely Avenue crossing to Roscoe Rowe Boulevard as a detour. Boat channels will remain open during construction.

Like the current bridge, the new one will use a center swing span that swivels open to allow tall boats to pass. Unlike the current bridge, the new span will be hydraulically powered, and therefore more quiet.

Though some view the bridge that connects the affluent Weems Creek community to downtown Annapolis via Ridgely Avenue as historic, no one stepped forward to take up the state's offer to PTC give away the center span. It will be up to the contractor to dispose of it.

The new structure will have the same clearance as the current bridge and fewer pilings. Officials say the new design will improve safety by adding 3-foot-wide shoulders and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk for cyclists and pedestrians, who share space on the sides of the current bridge.

The bridge will follow the same opening schedule for marine traffic, but instead of being opened from a control panel on the span, there will be a control tower for a bridge tender by the roadway, he said.

Pub Date: 6/02/96

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