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Coffman Farms Road Bridge to undergo rehabilitation work because of poor condition

October 10, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Coffman Farms Road Bridge, a one-lane bridge was built in 1832 and is rated in "poor condition" because of issues such as missing and loose mortar and missing stones.
Coffman Farms Road Bridge, a one-lane bridge was built in 1832 and is rated in "poor condition" because of issues such as missing and loose mortar and missing stones.

KEEDYSVILLE — Two officials with the Washington County Division of Public Works outlined plans Tuesday night for the rehabilitation of the Coffman Farms Road Bridge over Little Antietam Creek near town hall.

The one-lane bridge was built in 1832 and is rated in “poor condition” because of issues such as missing and loose mortar and missing stones, said Andrew Eshleman, a structural engineer for the county.

The rehabilitation of the span will cost about $600,000 and 80 percent of the money will come from federal funds, which have been “obligated” for the project, Eshleman said.

The rest of the money will come from the county, Eshleman said.

Eshleman outlined the planned rehabilitation during a public meeting at Town Hall. Four people attended the meeting.

The bridge will be closed during the rehabilitation and a detour around the bridge will be the same detour that has been used during previous work on the bridge, Eshleman said.

Eshleman said he expects construction to start in the spring or summer and it will take about four to five months to complete.

The new bridge will remain one lane after it is rehabilitated, Eshleman said.

The project will start by removing old fill material between the span’s stone arches, Eshleman said. Then steel reinforcing bar will laid in the bottom of the bridge and light weight concrete will be poured over top of it. Eshleman said, then more steel reinforcement bar will be put on top of the concrete as part of the top deck.

Keedysville resident Tim Robertson was one of the people attending the meeting.

Robertson, a former town council member and a current member of the town’s planning and zoning commission, said he is glad the county is rehabilitating the bridge and not replacing it. Robertson said the town has been working to get its streets fixed up and it is hard sometimes for a small town to get help on projects.

“I’m all for it. Let’s do it,” said another man who attended the meeting.

Referring to the bridge’s missing mortar, it is important to repair the mortar so stones on the bridge won’t dislodge and cause the walls to “push out” when vehicles cross the bridge, Eshleman said.

Currently, there is a 30,000-pound weight limit on the bridge because of its condition, Eshleman said. That restriction bans vehicles such as loaded dump trucks from crossing the bridge.

Plans for the bridge have been reviewed by the Maryland Historical Trust to make sure they are satisfied with the design, said Scott Hobbs, who also works in the county’s Division of Public Works.

The bridge is also known as Hess’s Mill Bridge because of a mill that once operated near the bridge, Eshleman said.

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