Bridge Concrete Falls on Car, Prompts Inspections of Aging Bridges in Maryland

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.

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A “chunk of concrete” fell on a Prince George’s County woman’s car as she drove under the I-495 overpass in Morningside, damaging her hood and windshield. As a result, Maryland’s Department of Transportation ordered immediate inspections of 27 “aging, state-owned bridges.” All of these bridges were constructed before 1969 and run over other roads, which makes falling debris a risk. While inspections will occur over the next few months, actual repairs might not be made for several years. DOT officials are making these inspections because they do not want drivers to worry about driving on or under Maryland bridges.

Statistics show that approximately 3% of the 2,903 bridges maintained by the State Highway Administration and Maryland Transportation Authority are “structurally deficient.” In other words, these bridges are “safe for travel, but in need of significant rehabilitation or replacement.” Maryland does not have as many “structurally deficient” bridges as most other states, such as Pennsylvania with 23% of the state’s 22,660 bridges.

In the last decade, there have been several major bridge collapses and structural failures. The average United States bridge is around 42 years old. Maryland has received a “B-” on their bridge grade, which is just above the “C+” grade for the country as a whole.

In addition to the “structurally deficient” bridges, Maryland also has 1,085 bridges or 20.5% of all bridge that are “functionally obsolete or no longer meet current standards for bridge construction.”

Some of the bridges on the list to be inspected include: Mount Carmel Road over I-83, I-83 over Padonia road, Route 151 over Patapsco and Back River Railroad, I-695 inner loop at Benson Avenue and U.S. 1, Crosby Road over I-695, Tridelphia Road over Route 32, Route 195 over Sligo Creek Parkway.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of falling bridge debris or structural bridge failure in Maryland, please call us at (301) 854-9000 for a free case evaluation or visit us online at: http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/