What's wrong with this picture?

April 22, 2012
  • The concrete on the underside of the U.S. 40 bridge over Interstate 70 seems to be deteriorating. Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck said the bridge is 'structurally safe and sound.'
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

The problem: While walking north on the Appalachian Trail, which leads under the U.S. 40 bridge over Interstate 70, Rose Nelson noticed the concrete on the underside of the bridge seemed to be deteriorating.
“For the safety of the thousands who go under and over this bridge every day, this bridge needs to be looked at,” Nelson wrote in an email. “ I know I wouldnt appreciate debris falling on my car while I drive under it, that’s for certain.”

Who could fix it: Maryland State Highway Administration

What they say: SHA spokesman David Buck said in an emailed response that “the deterioration of the underside of the deck is typical for a bridge of this age, and does not affect the ability of the bridge to carry all cars and trucks.”
“It is structurally safe and sound,” Buck wrote.
To prevent debris from falling onto cars or trail users, SHA maintenance crews will place timber planking over the area this week, Buck said.
SHA was already aware of the issue and the addition of the planks had been scheduled, he said.
The bridge was last inspected in November 2010, Buck said. A replacement of the deck, or riding surface, is anticipated to begin in the next three to four years, he said.

 — Compiled by Heather Keels

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:
What’s Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740
You can email the information to

Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.
We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

The Herald-Mail Articles