Bay Bridge getting a paint job
The westbound span of the Bay Bridge is getting a much-needed paint job -- at a cost of $19.5 million for the first phase alone.
The Maryland Transportation Authority announced that on or about Monday it expects to launch the long-planned project to give the westbound bridge its first full-scale cleaning and painting since it opened in 1973.
Painting a span such as the Bay Bridge isn't just a matter of cosmetics. The paint itself serves to protect the girder spans from corrosion. and extend the life of the bridge. The first step in the work is removal of the existing paint.
The authority said it will minimize the traffic impacts by doing much of the work from barges. Butt it said some of the work -- such as painting railings and moving equipment -- will require off-peak lane closures.
The project, which will be carried out by Atsalis Brothers Painting Co. of Warren, Mich., is expected to continue through fall 2012.
The first phase of the work will be done on the section approaching the western end, Phase two, which will include the suspension spans and towers at the bridge's high point, is expected to start in spring 2012 at an estimated cost of $15.7 million. Two additional phases are planned for 204 and 2016.