Watchdog: Work still under way on Chesaco Avenue bridge over I-95

Absence of crews does not mean barriers aren't necessary

May 07, 2011|By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

The problem: Barriers block lanes on a bridge over Interstate 95, though no construction seems to be under way.

The back story: Nancy Skinner has spent about 60 years in eastern Baltimore County, and for at least 30 of those, traversed the Chesaco Avenue bridge between Overlea and Rosedale.

For the past three years, traffic on the bridge has been restricted to one lane in both directions.

"The traffic is not real badly impacted because there's still two lanes — one in each direction — moving," she said.

But there are no shoulders or sidewalks, and the barriers reduce visibility for her and other drivers making turns onto Chesaco from McCormick Avenue, on the west side of the bridge.

"Three or four cars could back up behind me because I'm waiting to see better," she said.

Workers used to park at a nearby vacant lot, but it's been empty of late.

"I'm not there every day, but I'm pretty sure nobody is working on it anymore," Skinner said. "There's a whole lot of orange barrels, but all the workers have left."

She wondered whether contractors completed their work but neglected to pick up their barricades, or if removing the barriers was someone else's responsibility.

Teri Moss, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority, confirmed that the construction on Chesaco Avenue was part of the I-95 Express Toll Lane project. Crews had been constructing ramps for emergency vehicles to get on the highway, she said, and gates that would limit access to those ramps still need to be erected.

That work is expected to be completed by the summer, weather permitting, according to Moss. The climate has already caused some delays — both weather and wet field conditions have impacted the project, she said.

There are also two more contracts left to be awarded before the entire project is slated to be completed in 2014, Moss said.

Who can fix this: Those with questions or concerns about the Express Toll Lane project can send messages to its website, i-95expresstolllanes.com/. (Click on "comment online" to send a message.) Or, call the project office at 410-931-0808, or toll free at 888-I95-ETLS.

Need help?

Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there by emailing watchdog@baltsun.com or calling 410-332-6735.

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