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Stress testing and sinkhole snarls Md. Route 90 traffic

(Jan. 23, 2015) The State Highway Administration is conducting its annual review of bridges, leading to one-lane traffic patterns on the Route 90 bridge, intending to complete the process by late next week.

During the inspection, a small sinkhole formed at the eastbound portion of the bridge crossing the St. Martin River in the shoulder. The hole, SHA officials said, was approximately three feet wide and four feet deep, and will be plugged by grout. The hole has since been covered and the SHA will be seeking a contractor to perform the repairs, Charlie Gischlar, SHA spokesperson, said.

The work to ensure the safety of the bridge is taking a long time to complete owing to the overall length of the bridge, Gischlar said.

The inspection began Jan. 12.

Work will continue between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. until Jan. 29, Gischlar said.

During the work hours, only one lane will be open to traffic. Employees will use familiar flags to control traffic.

“I would suggest using Route 50,” Gischlar said.

Maryland SHA reports it performs inspections on the overpasses and bridges it is responsible for every two years. Underwater inspections are conducted every four years. Non-SHA bridges are also on the two-year inspection schedule. Toll bridges are inspected annually.

Gischlar said the inspections are taking place now because of the reduced traffic load on the roads the bridges serve.

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