nice/middleton bridge construction
Work continues on the $463 million Nice/Middleton Bridge Replacement
Project over the Potomac River connecting Maryland and Virginia on US 301. For additional photos and details on the bridge progress, go to the project webpage HERE.

BALTIMORE, Md.– The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $200 million federal loan to finance part of the nearly $463 million replacement of the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge, an 81-year-old span across the Potomac River between Charles County in Maryland and King George County in Virginia.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), identified the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program as a resource to help finance a portion of the project. Approval was granted March 15. 

“The Nice/Middleton Bridge project is a tremendous investment that benefits mobility safety and economic opportunity for the entire region,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman James F. Ports, Jr. “It’s a great example of how Maryland, working in collaboration with our federal partners, can leverage limited resources to improve infrastructure and grow jobs.” 

In November 2019, the MDTA Board approved the contract for the Skanska-Corman-McLean Joint Venture to design and build the new US 301 bridge over the Potomac River. Construction began in July 2020, and the new bridge is expected to open in early 2023. The project is creating 500 jobs. In addition to Maryland and federal funding, Virginia is contributing $13 million to the project. The TIFIA loan repayment will be made exclusively from pledged toll revenues collected at MDTA facilities.

“Construction is well underway, and this TIFIA loan is just one more step toward making the New Nice/Middleton Bridge a reality,” said MDTA Acting Executive Director William Pines, P.E. 

The Hogan Administration championed construction of a new, wider and safer bridge to replace the 1.9-mile Nice/Middleton span, which opened in December 1940. The project will replace the existing two-lane bridge with a new four-lane span aligned with the existing roadway approaches in Maryland and Virginia. The new bridge’s 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities. The new bridge design also includes more than $2 million in features to accommodate lane sharing for cyclists. 

The height of the new bridge will accommodate tall vessels, and materials from the demolished older span will be used to create an artificial fish reef. In addition, the MDTA and Skanska-Corman-McLean are partnering with the Potomac River Fisheries Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources to fund oyster seeding in the lower Potomac River basin.

For more information about the Nice/Middleton Bridge Replacement Project, please visit https://mdta.maryland.gov/NiceMiddletonBridge/Home. 

The MDTA is self-sufficient and receives no gas tax, motor vehicle fees, or other revenue in the Transportation Trust Fund. MDTA facilities are fully financed, operated, maintained, improved, and protected with toll revenues paid by customers using those facilities. Learn more at mdta.maryland.gov.

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11 Comments

  1. So – yea – the Harry Nice bridge isn’t real great BUT
    What about the Thomas Johnson Bridge between St. Marys and Calvert???

    What will have to happen for the government officials to get something in the works?
    Hey – looks like Great Mills road and route 5 “T”intersection is getting somewhere – maybe because back ups interfere with a certain persons property?

    1. Thomas Johnson’s really needs some help. Seems like nice always gets the money probably because they’re also making revenue off it but still. Something needs to give with the Thomas Johnson bridge.

  2. I never knew this bridge was 81 years old. The replacement is long overdue. Still, many more transportation projects are required throughout Maryland.

  3. Congrats to the State of Maryland for replacing a bridge that is 50 years out of date with a bridge that is 30 years out of date.

  4. My granddad shuttle divers during the original bridge construction, in his oyster boat, back in 1939. The pride in workmanship then, sure was a lot different (or actually existed) than when that piece of crap (Johnson Bridge) was designed and built. Probably just a case of ‘built to last’ vs. ‘planned obsolescence’.

  5. I’m happy to hear that cyclists & pedestrians will now be able to use the bridge (as was originally called for and planned at the initial meetings). It doesn’t affect me, but I always see a lot of cyclists on the roads.

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