(MDOT SHA photo: MD 381 at Timothy Branch after a July storm.)
BRANDYWINE, Md. – The project to replace the MD 381 (Brandywine Road) Bridge over Timothy Branch in Prince George’s County has been delayed until October. Unprecedented rains in July and early-August have significantly hampered progress on the project. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) anticipates opening the bridge in October.
The project area is in a floodplain. When heavy rains occur, crews are forced to stop work because of rising creek levels. Crews must then wait for waters to recede and pump out any additional water in the work zone before work can resume.
Throughout July in Brandywine, 7.33 inches of rain was recorded, which is nearly double the historical average precipitation for the month. In the metro Washington DC area two storms alone generated more rain in two days than total amounts recorded during the entire month of July over the last 107 years.
Crews will continue to work weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until the project is complete. Additional daytime work hours may be necessary to expedite all phases of work and keep the project on schedule. The detour route of Missouri Avenue and US 301 (Crain Highway) will continue until the project is complete.
“We appreciate the community’s patience as we work through the challenges presented by the weather,” said District 3 Engineer Andre Futrell. “We will work with the contractor to identify opportunities to expedite the project and finish as soon as possible.”
The Brandywine Road Bridge was extensively damaged in 2011 during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. MDOT SHA installed a temporary repair to open the road. The current project and subsequent closure and detour are for the permanent repair of the bridge. The new bridge will have 12-foot lanes with two six-foot bicycle-compatible shoulders.