Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meeting About Closed Gov. Bridge

Officials from Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties will be on hand Wednesday to update local residents on the closure and plans for future repair of Governor's Bridge, which links Bowie and Davidsonville across the Patuxent River.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Comfort Inn & Conference Center, 4500 Crain Highway, in Bowie.
County Council member Todd Turner (D-District 4) will represent the Prince George's County government, while County Council member Jerry Walker (R-District 7) will represent Anne Arundel County.
Governor's Bridge is believed to be one of only two surviving truss bridges in Prince George's County.

The bridge, which provides a shortcut between Davidsonville and Bowie that doesn't involve driving busy Route 50, was closed for repairs in May 2013. The problem was deterioration of the girders under the deck of the 108-year-old bridge. After extensive repairs, the bridge was reopened in March 2014.

The bridge closed again March 30 of last year after contractors inspected the bridge and determined it required emergency repairs.
At that time, Prince George's County officials said the most recent six-month inspection revealed deterioration in more than one area of the truss structure.
"The deterioration was below the level deemed to be safe," Prince George's Department of Public Works and Transportation spokesman Paulette Jones said. "We want the public to be safe."
Over the years, the bridge also has been closed intermittently because of high water, because the Patuxent River is prone to flooding.
Prince George's controls the bridge, but any repairs or work is shared 50/50 between P.G. and Anne Arundel.
The Prince George's County capital budget includes a project to replace the bridge in the future using federal funding on a 80/20 federal/county payment basis. But there is no funding in the current budget for the bridge.
There has been a bridge at the spot — not far from where Prince George's Stadium now sits — since Gov. Samuel Ogle had a one built to get him from his plantation home in Collington to Annapolis. He was the three-time Colonial governor from 1732-52. The structure is called Governor's Bridge for that reason.
The current 105.5 foot-long and 13-foot, 7-inch wide structure was built in 1907.

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