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District 6 News


11/1/2010US 340 Bridge Over Potomac River Rehabilitation Project
SHA is performing routine maintenance on the steel girders beneath the US 340 bridge over the Potomac River.  Although the bridge is structurally sound, it is in need of preventive maintenance to extend its usable life. 
 
As the majority of the work will occur beneath the bridge there will be minimal impact to traffic on the bridge.  The single-lane closures will only occur when trucks are delivering materials, removing debris collected from the cleaning/maintenance, and during the set up/movement of a containment unit beneath the bridge which is designed to ensure debris does not fall into the Potomac River.  SHA will place variable messages along US 340 at least one week prior to any single lane closure on the bridge.  Additionally, SHA will only permit the contractor to close a lane on the bridge between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
 
SHA is aware of the traffic congestion along this section of US 340 and continues work on ways to improve traffic operation. Pavement markings were adjusted this summer to extend the acceleration lane on US 340 east from Keep Tryst Road and to lengthen the left turn lane on westbound US 340 to Keep Tryst Road. SHA installed lane dividers that are intended to prevent through traffic from bypassing queued traffic by using the left turn lane improperly. The lengthened lane affords local residents earlier access to the turn lane.
 
These improvements came out of several community meetings with residents and are part of efforts to help mitigate traffic issues in the area as the result of significant queues of traffic going into Virginia at the Potomac River. SHA will monitor the effectiveness of this lane separation.
 
As part of the current bridge maintenance project, SHA will clean, repaint, and make minor repairs to the steel girders beneath the bridge.  Protective coatings on the structural steel prevent corrosion and are designed to last approximately 30 years. 
 
The existing steel coatings contain lead, therefore SHA will take precautions to ensure public safety and prevent lead debris from impacting the environment.  To ensure the safety of motorists and residents near the bridge crews installed a containment unit prior to removing the existing coating. 
 
The containment unit is specially designed to ensure that any dust or debris generated from cleaning or removing the coating remains contained.  An inspector trained to remove lead paint will be onsite to monitor removal of the existing coating and the application of the new coating.
 

 
 
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