Bridge Replacement to Give Boats More Headroom in Chesapeake Beach
A significant state highway project to replace the Fishing Creek Bridge in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, is making major progress.
The bridge, which lays along Maryland Route 261 (Bayside Road) as it crosses Fishing Creek, has been under construction since 2014. The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is building a new bridge structure adjacent to the existing one, and when the new one is complete, the old one will be demolished.
Right now, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar tells Bay Bulletin, the first side of the new bridge is nearly complete. The beams and driving surface are virtually done. Traffic is currently being alternated on the existing bridge, but in early spring of 2018, SHA will shift traffic onto the newly constructed side and alternate traffic there while the old structure is torn down. The final section of the new bridge is expected to be done in late spring of 2019.
The area around Fishing Creek bridge is a hot spot for fishing, and boaters will be interested to know that the new bridge structure has about four feet more vertical clearance than the existing one. Except for a few planned overnight closures of the channel, the construction project has not affected boat traffic or marina access.
The project's biggest challenge has been relocating a significant amount of utility systems, which caused a delay in the project. Total construction cost is about $19 million.
The project is being updated periodically on this website. State Highways says it appreciates the patience of residents and drivers in Chesapeake Beach.