(Image: A “bathtub” foundation form is lifted into the air.)

NEWBURG, Md. – Please slow down – workers’ safety requires calm waters! Periodic channel closures to start in mid-February. Calm river waters are essential to keeping workers and boaters safe as Nice/Middleton Bridge Project crews lift and place enormous footing forms for the new bridge’s foundations.

Wakes thrown off by speeding boats can create major hazards for operations and workers. Please slow down and use caution.

Form-placing work will start in mid-February and finish by the end of the summer. The forms weigh as much as 195 tons (the weight of 135 average-weight cars) and measure 30 feet wide by as long as 52 feet (the size of a small house). Nicknamed “bathtubs” because they create giant tubs when placed and sealed atop sets of previously driven piles, the 33 individual bathtubs will be lifted into place by two high-capacity floating cranes.

The bathtubs serve as the bottom and side forms for pile caps that will support the columns of the new bridge. Within the tubs, construction of the pile caps involves setting steel rebar cages and pouring concrete to complete the foundations. This innovative forming method reduces both construction time and environmental impact as compared with traditional cofferdam construction that has been used to build bridges for centuries.

Prior to form placement occurring immediately adjacent to the navigational channel, the MDTA will coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard to implement temporary restrictions of vessel traffic through the channel for the duration of the operations.
Mariners should check with the U.S. Coast Guard regarding timing of channel closures.

MAKE NO WAKE: Help ensure everyone’s safety during “bathtub” placement:
-Slow down
-Use extreme caution
-Steer clear of construction vessels