BOWIE – The county has shut down the more than 100-year-old Governor’s Bridge Road due to problems identified by engineers from the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T). According to department, the closure comes as the result of deficiencies recently identified on the bridge which crosses over the Patuxent River. Message […]
BOWIE – The county has shut down the more than 100-year-old Governor’s Bridge Road due to problems identified by engineers from the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T).
According to department, the closure comes as the result of deficiencies recently identified on the bridge which crosses over the Patuxent River. Message signs will alert traffic of this new road condition and drivers are advised to stay alert and use an alternative route to Governor’s Bridge Road to drive to Anne Arundel County.
Paulette Jones, a spokesperson for DPW&T said the county has an agreement with Anne Arundel County that any calls for maintenance associated with the bridge are shared between Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County.
Governor’s Road Bridge is a one-lane truss bridge built in 1907 that accommodates at least 900 vehicles daily, Jones said. The county’s engineers conduct inspections of bridges in six-month cycles.
“There are some areas of the bridge that over time have deteriorated even more and because of the age of the bridge, I’m not necessarily surprised at some of the repairs that are needed,” Jones said. “But I will say that at the interval of the six-month inspections, the bridge is deemed safe and passable but at this particular last inspection that we had, there were portions of the bridge that had deteriorated beyond being safe and passable.”
This is not the first time the bridge has been closed due to structural problems.
“The bridge has had to be in repair again in the past due to the age of the bridge. I know for instance, in 2014, DPWT provided there were several beams identified as failing and so they replaced those beams,” Jones said. “Those beams supported the bridge deck. So there’s been ongoing maintenance of the bridge.”
The county made its decision to deem the bridge unsafe in March after conducting another six-month inspection.
“We just want to again express to the constituents that we’re sorry for the bridge being closed but that we make it our number one priority for everyone to be safe,” Jones said.
City officials say they do not expect the closure to have much of an effect on the lives of city residents. George Stephanos, director of the city’s public works department, said he did not even know of the bridge closure until the county made its announcement.
“The Governor’s Bridge Road Bridge is actually a Prince George’s County asset, not a City of Bowie asset,” Stephanos said. “So Prince George’s County is the one who made the decision to close the bridge.”
David Deutsch, Bowie city manager, said the bridge’s closing will not affect the city economically.
“It doesn’t immediately serve a business area. It doesn’t necessarily limit access,” Deutsch said. “There is limited access at one point but there are alternates…It’s an inconvenience for folks more than anything, but I don’t see how it’s going to affect commerce at all.”
Stephanos said traffic from Anne Arundel County into the city will not be affected because it is not a central route.
“Governor’s Bridge Road, when it hits there it kind of turns very park-like and that bridge can only handle one lane,”?Stephanos said.?“So you have to stop and wait for the oncoming guy to go through. It’s not a main road.”