What's wrong with this picture?

October 07, 2012
  • Beau Ouimette of Williamsport submitted this photograph showing cracking and deterioration of concrete support columns under eastbound Interstate 70 where it crosses Licking Creek.
Submitted photo

The problem: In his Sept. 30 email, Williamsport resident Beau Ouimette supplied The Herald-Mail with several photos showing cracking and deterioration of concrete support columns under eastbound Interstate 70 where it crosses Licking Creek, about seven miles southeast of Hancock.
“Some of the cracks in the concrete run from the bottom to the top of the supports,” Ouimette wrote in his email. “I would like to think that this is being monitored by DOT (Department of Transportation), but feel it’s my civic duty to warn of potential calamity nonetheless.”

Who can fix it: Maryland State Highway Administration

What they say: SHA spokeswoman Heather Keels wrote in an email that the cracking and deterioration in the I-70 supports at Licking Creek are only superficial and do not require any immediate action.
“The bridge remains structurally sound and safe for travel,” she wrote. “These are big, solid piers and their carrying capacity is not affected by cracking of the outer concrete layer.”
The bridge is about 50 years old, Keels wrote, and it’s not unusual for a bridge of that age to have some exterior cracking to its support columns.
The bridge was last inspected in fall 2010, and will be checked again this fall, she wrote.
“SHA has a proactive program in place to inspect bridges regularly and repair or replace them long before safety problems could develop,” Keels wrote.
The State Highway Administration encourages citizens who have concerns about bridges or other aspects of state-maintained roads (numbered routes) in Maryland to submit a service request on its website,, under the “Contact Us” section.


— Compiled by C.J. Lovelace

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What’s Wrong With This Picture
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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.

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