The deck of the eastbound Bay Bridge span has not been replaced since the 1970s and 80s. Photo: MDTA

Bay Bridge 1-Year Eastbound Deck Replacement Begins This Month

The aging Bay Bridge is getting another round of structural repairs that will impact traffic—but not nearly as dramatically as the construction that began in 2019.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will start replacing the deck (driving surface) of the Bay Bridge this month and expects to wrap it up by spring 2025.

Phase I of the $140 million deck replacement taking place on the eastbound span will be mostly during overnight hours. “Weather permitting, when the eastbound span closes at night, two-way traffic (one lane in each direction) will be on the westbound span,” as MDTA details in a new announcement.

There will also be lane closures during “off-peak” daytime hours as crews prep work areas for their night work. Each night, crews will remove at least one section of the deck and replace it with a new pre-cast section in time for the next morning.

Pre-cast deck sections will be laid to replace old decking. Photo: MDTA

You may remember the crane that arrived at the bridge a year ago to conduct under-bridge work in preparation for this project.

While the deck is being replaced section by section at night, crews will use temporary joint-connection grates that allow lanes to reopen each morning and make for a smoother drive across work areas.

MDTA says the deck replacement, like the completed westbound project, is absolutely necessary in extending the life of the 4.35-mile Bay Bridge. The last time the decks were replaced or improved on the eastbound span, it was the 1970s and 80s. The integrity of the bridge has relied on ongoing patching and emergency patching operations, according to MDTA. Studies done in 2014-2015 showed widespread deterioration and the deck probably had about 10-15 years of service life left. 10 years later, MDTA is getting to work.

Phase I targets the sections with the most deterioration. The timing of future phases will be announced based on available funding and bridge conditions at the time.

The timing of future phases and other projects will depend on available funding and bridge conditions.  You can read more about the eastbound bridge replacement project here.