The bridge over the Patapsco River on RT-40, in Ellicott City, MD, was built in 1933 and has become a main route connecting Baltimore County and Howard County, carrying over 40,000 cars a day across the river. The bridge passes through the scenic Patapsco State Park. Due to the aging of the bridge, the Maryland State Highway Administration commissioned Corman Construction, a Jessup-based company, to refurbish the existing structure without damaging its historical significance.
Corman Construction is a family owned company that has been operating in the Mid-Atlantic region for 90 years. Mabey Inc. is the American Subsidiary of the Mabey Group. With 140 years experience in engineering and bridging the Mabey Group opened operations in the US in 1989. Mabey Inc. works with companies like Corman Construction to design and deploy bridges that are safe and effective solutions for their projects. Mabey Inc. project specialist, Jim Porreca, negotiated the supply of the bridges with Mitch Rubin, the project manager with Corman construction.
In order to keep both lanes of traffic open during construction Mabey Inc. engineer, Ameenah Saleem, worked tirelessly to design a configuration of Mabey Universal bridging and propping. The bridges are three-span structures with 30ft roadway to carry 2 lanes of highway traffic. The eastbound bridge is 430ft long and the westbound is 390ft long. Both bridges are supported on Mabey supplied towers. According to Mitch Rubin, they were able to avoid damaging the park by adjusting the proposed retaining walls where the temporary Mabey Universal Bridge would sit. They were also able to avoid relocating a water supply line that supplies water to Howard County residents. Ameenah and Mitch agree that the collaboration between Corman and Mabey’s engineering departments helped ensure a smooth deployment and an easy to work with design.
However, this project was not without challenges. The heavy rainfall in August and September caused some delays in the deployment of the bridge, but the crews we able to make up the time due to an unusually mild fall. Another complication was the limited amount of space in which to build the bridge, which required optimally-timed deliveries from Mabey’s Elkridge location so there weren’t too many parts laying around, clogging up the workspace. The build and push design of this bridge facilitated working in the tight area and a rapid deployment so that the restoration of the permanent bridge could begin.
Despite the challenges, and as a result of the careful planning and preparation by Corman and Mabey, Corman was able to complete the installation of the two bridges within 10 weeks after taking delivery of the first pieces of steel, and both bridges were open to traffic before the end of the year. This is a testament to the capabilities of Corman Construction and the Mabey Universal Bridge System.