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Traffic in each direction on the Hatem Bridge in Havre de Grace is scheduled to be moved to the two outside lanes beginning Tuesday, Aug. 4, to accommodate construction on the center of the bridge.

The Maryland Transportation Authority plans to begin the second of four stages of the bridge preservation project Tuesday, weather permitting.

According to the transportation authority, this stage, which is anticipated to last one year, will have construction work occurring in the center of the bridge with traffic operating on the outside lanes.

The first stage, which is nearing completion after beginning in June 2008, included roadway re-decking, concrete piers repairs and the installation of a new barrier wall along the east right land of the bridge.

Stage two will involve similar work, but will incorporate a new traffic pattern for motorists traveling east.

One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction, except during scheduled deliveries of construction materials, resetting barrier walls or moving equipment, or as needed for ongoing maintenance, deck repairs or routine inspections.

To prepare for the new traffic pattern, periodic 15-minute traffic drags will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4.

According to a transportation authority press release, during the traffic drags, police will bring vehicles to a reduced speed prior to the work zone to allow crews to move and reset the barrier walls and perform line striping.

In addition, motorists traveling west may be detoured during the overnight hours this Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 5, 6, 7, and also Monday, Aug. 10 to Thursday, Aug. 13, weather permitting.

The detour is necessary to reset the barrier walls to allow workers access to the construction zone.

The Hatem Bridge project is expected to be completed by fall 2011, according to the transportation authority.

In stage three, which is anticipated to start in the summer of 2010, lanes for motorists traveling west will be closed for construction. Traffic will operate in the remaining two lanes of the bridge.

Stage four, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2011, will utilize the same traffic pattern as stage two to install a permanent barrier wall in the center of the bridge.

The project is aimed at preserving and extending the life of the nearly 70-year-old bridge deck.


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