The new Nice Middleton Bridge, which opened in October 2022 to replace the old bridge over the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, will experience a brief closure on Wednesday, May 3. This closure is required to facilitate the dismantling the old bridge, which is still in place next to the new structure. According to officials, the closure will last between 15 to 30 minutes and occur between 9-10 a.m.

The temporary closure may cause significant traffic delays along Route 301 in both directions, especially during peak morning commute hours. Commuters are being urged to plan their route accordingly, with alternate routes or delaying travel until after the closure being the best options.

The Nice Middleton Bridge, also known as the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, is a vital link between the two states, and the new bridge was built to replace the aging structure that is over 80 years old. The new bridge cost approximately $463 million to construct and was designed to improve safety and reduce congestion on Route 301.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) oversees the dismantling of the old bridge, which is being done in several stages. The first phase began in February and is expected to continue until the end of May. During this time, workers will remove the steel truss span, the central portion of the old bridge that spans the river.

The second phase of dismantling, which will involve removing the remaining piers and approach spans, is expected to start later in the year and continue into 2024. The entire dismantling process is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

The MDTA has assured the public that safety is a top priority during the dismantling process and that there will be no impact on the safety of the new bridge or the public. However, the temporary closure on Wednesday is necessary to ensure the safety of workers and commuters during the dismantling operation.

The closure will be implemented using a rolling roadblock technique, where traffic will be stopped and then slowly released in small groups. The Maryland State Police will be on hand to assist with traffic control and ensure the safe passage of commuters.

The MDTA has also advised drivers to check their website and social media accounts for updates on the dismantling process and any future closures or detours that may be necessary.

The new Nice Middleton Bridge is a significant investment in the region’s infrastructure and is expected to serve the community for many years to come. The temporary closure on Wednesday is a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but it is a necessary step in dismantling the old bridge. Commuters are encouraged to plan their route and be patient during this time, and to remember that safety is always the top priority.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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