$463 million bridge to be constructed in Maryland, US.

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The joint venture team of Skanska, Corman Kokosing Construction and McLean Contracting have been chosen by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) to design and build a new $463 million bridge over the Potomac River connecting southern Maryland and northeastern Virginia, expected to open in 2023. Construction of the 3 Kilometer long, four-lane bridge will begin next month and will replace the current Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge, which is currently used by approximately 18,000 vehicles daily. With lanes, 12-foot-wide and 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.  Expected to be completed by the end of 2022, the current bridge will be demolished by the end of 2024 according to the project director and vice president of operations for Skanska USA Civil, Wade Watson. An interesting project, the demolished bridge is planned to be used as an artificial reef, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The structures copy some of the characteristics of a natural reef and are often composed of construction materials like rocks, cinder blocks, concrete, wood and tires. This is a familiar technique to Skanska as they have used this before in previous bridge projects with the materials recovered from demolished bridges.

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Building a new, wider and safer bridge to replace the current two-lane Nice/Middleton span, which opened in December 1940 and connects Maryland to Virginia, has been a commitment for the Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. According to Mr.Wade, the new concrete and steel bridge will have a 100-year service life. The bridge will also include several safety improvements for bicyclists, such as bicycle-friendly roadway joints and intelligent transportation systems tools such as signage and lighting. This project is currently one of Maryland’s largest transportation initiatives and  Virginia will contribute $13 million of the $463 million for the bridge. To help finance the project, the MDTA in May 2017 applied for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.