Three transportation projects on the West Side of the Beltway will improve infrastructure, add $45 million into Maryland’s economy and support nearly 600 jobs
ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 21, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that work is beginning on a $13 million major construction project to replace the inner loop I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) Bridge over Wilkens Avenue (MD 372) in Baltimore County. Overall, the State has three major Beltway bridge projects now under construction on the West Side of the Beltway replacing structures that are more than 50 years old.
“To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. That’s why we are investing $45 million into the Baltimore Beltway to support nearly 600 jobs for our families,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our infrastructure is an area where we have the largest investment deficit in our State – and it’s something that matters both for job creation today, and for what type of State we leave to the next generation. These bridge projects are a great example of how replacing our aging infrastructure creates jobs and builds a stronger transportation network.”
In addition to replacing the I-695 inner loop bridge over Wilkens Avenue that was built in 1956, this project will accommodate any future widening of the Beltway’s inner loop from three to four lanes. The project is expected to be complete summer 2013, weather permitting. The new inner loop bridge will have the same design and appearance as the outer loop bridge. The State Highway Administration (SHA) replaced the I-695 outer loop bridge over Wilkens Avenue in 2004, as part of the widening of the outer loop of I-695 to four lanes between MD 144 (Frederick Road) and I-95.
This bridge project is one of several bridges SHA is addressing under its aggressive system preservation program. Most of the bridges along I-695 are more than 50 years old, dating back to the original construction of the Baltimore Beltway. In addition to the Wilkens Bridge project, SHA now is managing two other major bridge projects on the west side of I-695 including: the Frederick Road Bridge over I-695 and the dual beltway bridges over Liberty Road (MD 26). More than 192,000 vehicles use this section of I-695 every day.