Footbridge operation postponed

Paperwork lacking for city permit to move huge crane into position

January 05, 2002|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Difficulties with transporting a 68,000-pound crane from Pennsylvania has blocked this weekend's planned installation of two footbridges designed to connect three private schools in North Baltimore.

City officials said yesterday that they had no choice but to put off plans to lift two 100-ton footbridges into place, a major undertaking that had been scheduled for today and tomorrow with closures on Northern Parkway and Roland Avenue.

Henry H. Lewis, construction manager for the schools -- Roland Park Country, Gilman and Bryn Mawr -- said the engineering projects, expected to take up to 8 or 10 hours each, might happen on Jan. 19 and 20, if city and state permits are secured.

Yesterday's decision to call off the operation occurred when city officials realized they had no record of a permit to allow an oversize load to travel into the city from the north on Interstate 83, according to Adrienne D. Barnes, a city transportation department spokeswoman.

City officials were particularly concerned about the bridge at the Northern Parkway exit of I-83, part of the route the construction team had planned to take yesterday.

"We would hate to have a bridge collapse," Barnes said. "The paperwork was not in place."

School officials said there was confusion over the route, adding that they believed all the necessary documents were ready. City officials countered that if they were sent, they were not received.

Meanwhile, as Frank Murphy, a city transportation expert observed: "A bridge, big as day, is sitting on Roland Avenue." The other bridge is in a Gilman parking lot.

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