The Hanover Street Bridge spanning the Patapsco River’s Middle Branch is shutting down to traffic this weekend as the city undertakes a twice-delayed $400,000 repaving effort.
Officially known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, the viaduct is due for “structure adjustments” and an asphalt repaving “in order to provide an improved riding surface,” according to a release from the city’s Department of Transportation. The bridge will be closed both ways from Cromwell Street to Waterview Avenue from 8 p.m. tonight through Monday morning at 5 a.m.
That’s all assuming the weather holds, of course. The forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms both days this weekend, which could mean a third postponement. Plans were already twice pushed back due to rain delays the weekends of July 20-23 and Aug. 3-6.
These fixes are part of an ongoing wave of improvements to the 102-year-old, 0.4-mile bridge that are, albeit, temporary, as the city eyes a broader $50 million overhaul. A two-year study by DOT and a handful of hired consultants published in late May recommends removing an existing lane, making it a four-lane roadway to make room for “enhanced pedestrian and bicycle space” on the sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, with two-foot barriers between the sidewalks and traffic.
The study also recommends closing the drawbridge and filling in the steel grate deck to save the city money on maintenance costs, and creating a “unique urban space” with an “outdoor art gallery,” recreational space underneath with a “sculptural staircase” leading up, among many other changes.
That’s all years away, though, as funding must still be secured. For now, commuters traveling the Hanover Street Bridge can look forward to a smoother ride starting next week, assuming the weather allows for it.