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Repairing Cracked ICC Bridges May Bring Road Closures

Crews will be repairing hairline cracks on bridges spanning the central portion of the Intercounty Connector.

Repairing fissures in three bridges along the Intercounty Connector may cause temporary road closures between Norbeck Road and New Hampshire Avenue beginning this week, the State Highway Administration announced. 

Patch reported that hairline cracks were found in 10 bridges along the toll road of more than 17 miles:

  • Georgia Avenue
  • Emory Lane
  • Muncaster Mill Road
  • Needwood Road
  • Redland Road
  • Longmeade Crossing Drive
  • Notley Road
  • Layhill Road
  • Route 29
  • The ramp that takes Route 29 traffic westbound onto the ICC 

SHA has completed work on four of the bridges. Officials estimate construction should be complete this winter.

Expect shoulder closures and temporary traffic signs, traffic barrels, cones, crash cushions and the concrete barriers used to designate the shoulder closures, SHA said. The bridges will stay open and the shoulder closures should cause “minimal impact” to drivers, the agency said in a statement.

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Cracks were found in parts of the ICC’s “pier caps,” the concrete structures between a bridge’s vertical support columns and the roadway itself, Patch reported. 

Steel rods inside the pier caps help give the structure strength. Designers had miscalculated how many steel rods were needed inside the pier caps to properly support them, state officials told The Washington Post

Crews will insert steel rods through holes drilled in the bridge pier caps, tighten the rods for tensioning, install a grout material around the rods to seal the holes and secure the ends with steel plates to fix the bridges. The plates will then be covered with concrete.

State officials say the bridge cracks do not impact the road’s safety, but rather impair the durability of the pier caps. Installing more steel rods will make the bridges last the projected 50 to 75 years, SHA said. 

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