Ocean City Today
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Kelley Bridge repairs completed

By Brian Gilliland | Apr 26, 2018
Photo by: File photo The Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge

(April 27, 2018) While the repairs to the Route 50 bridge repairs went off without a hitch last week, closing the bridge after they were completed hit a snag with the Route 50 bridge becoming stuck in the up position for about two hours.

“It was a sequencing error,” Bob Rager, State Highway Administration spokesman said. “There’s a set sequence to raise and lower the bridge, and the workers were locked out because the sequence wasn’t followed.”

To raise the bridge, there’s a set schedule of events that need to take place in the proper order, when that sequence is upset, the bridge doesn’t operate the way it should.

In other words, it was human error that caused the problem, but it was also human effort that fixed it.

“We cranked it down by hand to make sure no other work would be needed, and it wasn’t,” he said.

With confidence restored, the sequence was reset and the bridge was reopened to traffic.

The weeklong work project of reinforcing the support pylons — 18 in total, finished on schedule, Rager said.

During previous maintenance, a crack was discovered in one of the bridge’s support beams. Since most of the beams were the same age, and traffic on the bridge is expected to explode within the next couple of months, the SHA decided to replace all of the support beams.

The bridge had been closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. every morning starting last Sunday, with traffic routed north to Route 90.

The supports, basically steel wrappers for the beams, are expected to extend their working life.

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