Reduction in Flex Joints
Project Manager, Structures:
The Patapsco Flats Bridge is located on the MDTA’s Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Facility and carries northbound and southbound I-895 over Patapsco River Flats just east of Baltimore, MD with an AADT ranging from 34,000 vehicles per day at the southern limits to almost 60,000 vehicles per day at the northern limits. The dual bridge was built in 1957 and is 2380 feet, 6 inches long with 42 simple spans in each direction. The span lengths vary from a minimum of 44 feet to a maximum of 68 feet. The existing bridge was widened in 1984 to the current overall bridge width of 39 feet in each direction. Based on the 2012 condition inspection, the existing bridge superstructure was in poor condition (NBI rating of 4) and the existing substructure was rated to be in fair condition. Rehabilitation or replacement of this bridge had to be evaluated to improve the infrastructure that carries one of Baltimore’s major thoroughfares. RK&K was brought on board to investigate the superstructure rehabilitation and replacement options. The goals of this study were:
- Evaluate the superstructure rehabilitation options such that the bridge would not have to undergo any repair/rehabilitation for a minimum of 15 years.
- Evaluate reuse of the existing substructure.
- Reduce the number of joints in the bridge by evaluating continuity of existing simple spans, thus providing a more durable structure.
- Develop construction methods to keep equipment and material off the ground in this, sensitive Patapsco River environment.
The design team was led by RK&K, with help from Athavale, Lystad and Associates, and Alvi Associates, and the project was bid on February 18, 2016. McLean Contracting Company submitted a low bid of $48.5 Million. McLean started working on the project in Summer, 2016 and the project was completed in September 2019.