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District 6 News

12/9/2011US 340 Bridge Over Potomac River Rehabilitation Project
This summer, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will perform routine maintenance on the US 340 bridge over the Potomac River in southern Washington County.  Although the bridge is structurally sound, it is in need of preventive maintenance to extend its usable life.
This bridge is a vital connection between Maryland and Virginia.  SHA rigorously inspects state bridges every two years to ensure the safety of the traveling public.  If necessary, routine maintenance is scheduled and at the end of its life span structures are scheduled for replacement. 
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 coating on the
US 340 bridge has exceeded expectations by more than 10 years.  Routine maintenance will make costly repairs less likely in the future and ensure the bridge reaches its full usable life which is typically well over 100 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 structure and to prevent debris from impacting the environment, crews will install 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.

During construction, motorists should expect daily shoulder closures on eastbound and westbound US 340.  Periodic, temporary single-lane closures should also be expected during set up/removal and relocation of the containment system.  Additionally, sidewalk closures should be expected during construction.  SHA will place appropriate signs to alert pedestrians of such closures.
For additional information about the project please contact Geoff McCammon, SHA's District Community Liaison for Washington County, at 301-624-8131, toll free at 1-800-635-5119, or by e-mail at