The Maryland Transportation Authority, which had said repairs on the Bay Bridge could extend well into the fall, is on track to complete work on the eastbound span within two weeks, an official said last night.
After an Aug. 10 fatal accident in which a tractor-trailer crashed through one of the bridge's concrete barriers and into the Chesapeake Bay, state officials announced they would need to conduct inspections and repairs that would result in lane closures over 10 weeks.
But the authority announced last weekend that it had completed repairs to strengthen the parapet on the right-side of the two-lane eastbound span. And Geoffrey Kolberg, chief engineer of the authority, told a community meeting of about 200 people at Kent Island High School in Stevensville that work on the left side would be completed by mid-September.
Kolberg's comments came hours after the authority said that it had found corrosion in some of the bolts that anchor the concrete barrier walls lining the left-hand lane of the eastbound span - confirming the agency's suspicion that the same problem existed on both sides of the structure.
The authority announced Aug. 26 that it had found similar corrosion on the right side of the span near where a tractor-trailer broke through the barrier. The truck driver was killed in that crash.
After the finding, Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari ordered the immediate closing of one lane of the eastbound span to permit emergency repairs.
The authority closed the left lane yesterday and opened the right lane to traffic, saying the reinforcement work on the right side was complete.