A major bridge in Frederick County, Maryland is set to reopen sooner than expected after crews worked 12-hour days in bitter cold weather to replace a beam that was seriously damaged by a garbage truck crash, transportation officials said.
The vehicle hit the upper beams of the Maryland Route 355 (Urbana Pike) Bridge over the Monocacy River on Dec. 6, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration said. A photo shows damage to the huge vehicle.
According to State Highway Administration data, more than 12,200 vehicles use the bridge every day. Officials initially expected repairs to take 60 days and expected to divert traffic until early February.
Cold weather and short daylight hours did slow progress, but officials reopened the bridge shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday.
Crews had to stabalize the bridge before removing the damaged steel beam and replacing it with new and repurposed materials.
“This emergency bridge repair was a tremendous team effort and excellent partnership between MDOT SHA and our contractors and suppliers, who worked in bitter cold temperatures through the holiday season to complete the work,” Maryland Department of Transportation and State Highway Administrator Greg Slater said. “Thanks to residents and commuters for their patience while we made the bridge safe for travel again.”
At the time of the crash, the garbage truck was being pulled by a tow truck, a Waste Management, Inc. spokeswoman told The Frederick News-Post.
“It wasn't our driver who caused the crash," the spokeswoman said.
According to State Highway Administration data, the bridge was built in 1930 and upgraded in 1980.