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Author Topic: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge  (Read 30364 times)

The Ghostbuster

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2015, 04:45:46 PM »

Here is my question. Why did this bridge remain two lanes when both of the approaches on US 301 are four lanes?
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davewiecking

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2015, 05:00:40 PM »

Because it's a lot cheaper to widen a road than build a 1.7 mile long bridge over a navigable river?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2015, 07:22:12 PM »

Here is my question. Why did this bridge remain two lanes when both of the approaches on US 301 are four lanes?

Dave is correct. 

The bridge was built in 1940. I was not around then, but I suspect that the approaches were two lane highways (U.S. 301 was extended north into Maryland [originally to Baltimore] when the bridge opened).  That was plenty of highway capacity for the time.

Because the bridge is a toll crossing, taxes pay for little or nothing associated with the construction, maintenance and operation of bridge (long-standing Maryland policy).  So replacement has had to wait until there was bonding capacity available, and tolls to pay those bonds back.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2015, 07:25:43 PM »

I would love to see them put in a tied arch bridge.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #54 on: September 03, 2015, 09:51:46 PM »

Here is my question. Why did this bridge remain two lanes when both of the approaches on US 301 are four lanes?

Dave is correct. 

The bridge was built in 1940. I was not around then, but I suspect that the approaches were two lane highways (U.S. 301 was extended north into Maryland [originally to Baltimore] when the bridge opened).  That was plenty of highway capacity for the time.

Because the bridge is a toll crossing, taxes pay for little or nothing associated with the construction, maintenance and operation of bridge (long-standing Maryland policy).  So replacement has had to wait until there was bonding capacity available, and tolls to pay those bonds back.
I still remember when US 17 coming north towards 301 was not 4 lanes for the last 17 miles
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cpzilliacus

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2015, 01:02:23 AM »

Here is my question. Why did this bridge remain two lanes when both of the approaches on US 301 are four lanes?

Dave is correct. 

The bridge was built in 1940. I was not around then, but I suspect that the approaches were two lane highways (U.S. 301 was extended north into Maryland [originally to Baltimore] when the bridge opened).  That was plenty of highway capacity for the time.

Because the bridge is a toll crossing, taxes pay for little or nothing associated with the construction, maintenance and operation of bridge (long-standing Maryland policy).  So replacement has had to wait until there was bonding capacity available, and tolls to pay those bonds back.
I still remember when US 17 coming north towards 301 was not 4 lanes for the last 17 miles

Me too.  It was two lanes most of the way from Tappahannock to Port Royal.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2016, 09:04:23 PM »

Baltimore Sun: Hogan administration says Nice Bridge will last another 30 years. It might have to.

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The only practical connection between Southern Maryland and Virginia is a steep 76-year-old toll bridge with two narrow lanes, no shoulder, no sidewalk and no barrier in the median.

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According to the Hogan administration, that's good enough for at least another 30 years.

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Local residents disagree, but the administration's generally popular decision to cut tolls last year has left the Maryland Transportation Authority with little money for projects like replacing the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.

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A bill with powerful support in the General Assembly would force its construction anyway.

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"The bridge is a disaster waiting to happen," Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson told a Senate committee last week. "Something as simple as a flat tire ties up traffic for hours."
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2016, 10:45:27 PM »

WBAL Radio:  Hogan Announces $765M Replacement For Harry S. Nice Bridge

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Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday announced $765 million in funding to replace the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.

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The 75-year-old bridge crosses the Potomac River from Charles County to King George County in Virginia. State transportation officials plan to advertise the contract to design and build the new bridge in 2018, start construction in 2020 and open the new, wider bridge in 2023. Officials say the existing bridge would have required a "major rehabilitation project" within five years. Instead, it will be demolished after the new bridge opens.

WTOP Radio: Md. board approves building new $765M Harry Nice bridge

EDIT: Baltimore Sun: Hogan plans $765 million replacement of Nice Bridge in Southern Maryland

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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans Monday to replace the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge in Southern Maryland — and to wage a political fight with the legislature over transportation policy.

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The two-fold announcement at the base of the bridge launched a massive infrastructure project, and set the stage for a war of words when the Democratic-controlled General Assembly convenes in January.

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The Nice Bridge carries U.S. 301 from Charles County over the Potomac River to Virginia. The steep, narrow, two-lane span is the only crossing of that river south of the Capital Beltway. It has no shoulder and lacks a median to separate opposing traffic.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 12:46:19 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2016, 11:19:44 AM »

One word: YES.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2016, 08:07:25 PM »

Part... *part* of this new bridge will be paid for by toll payers.  How much will be underwritten by *tax*payers?

ixnay
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2016, 09:05:34 PM »

Much needed, though I question A) the claim that lowering tolls increased revenue (I think it had more to do with the economy), B) the spat that Hogan had with the state Senator whose district includes the Nice Bridge, and C) whether the Coast Guard has actually signed off on a lower bridge clearance, as they have the authority on clearances over inland waterways.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2016, 07:03:02 AM »

How high is the new bridge clearance?  The Sun's article doesn't say.  If it's as low as the (newer) Wilson Bridge, it may not be politically feasible iykwim...

ixnay
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cpzilliacus

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2016, 01:36:44 PM »

Quote
The Harry Nice Bridge would have needed significant repairs in the next five years if a replacement wasn’t built, according to the Transportation Authority.

In the otherwise not very adequate article from WTOP Radio (linked above) is the sentence above, which may have motivated Hogan and his administration to drop this claim (also see upthread):

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According to the Hogan administration, that's good enough for at least another 30 years.

I suspect that the MDTA engineers told Pete Rahn and Hogan what the estimated costs were for keeping the current bridge in a state of good repair might be, and that perhaps there was some "sticker shock," motivating them to walk-back the 30 years claim.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 01:51:08 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2016, 01:48:39 PM »

How high is the new bridge clearance?  The Sun's article doesn't say.  If it's as low as the (newer) Wilson Bridge, it may not be politically feasible iykwim...

ixnay

The environmental documents (prepared 2009 - here (.pdf)) says Vertical Clearance - Maintain existing 135-foot minimum vertical clearance over navigational channel.
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D-Dey65

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2017, 06:11:45 PM »

Quote
The Harry Nice Bridge would have needed significant repairs in the next five years if a replacement wasn’t built, according to the Transportation Authority.
When I was there last time, they were getting one, specifically some joint repairs to the southbound lane on the climb from Maryland.

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2017, 08:52:38 PM »

I am surprised that there was not a twin span built in the same era as Bay Bridge and Delaware Memorial Bridge Twinnings.

Wasn't 301 4 laned in the 1960s?

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2017, 11:17:28 PM »

I am surprised that there was not a twin span built in the same era as Bay Bridge and Delaware Memorial Bridge Twinnings.
Wasn't 301 4 laned in the 1960s?
Z981

Probably in the 1950s and 1960s.  Certainly was all two lanes back when the bridge was built in 1939.

First time I drove the route (VA-207 and US-301 between Bowling Green and Annapolis) was in 1970.  All was four lanes except --
-- VA-207 Bowling Green Bypass not yet built, that was built with two lanes around 1985 and was dualized around 1992.  US-301 part of bypass was four lanes already.
-- US-301 Rappahannock River bridge at Port Royal was two lane drawbridge.  New four lane bridge built in 1980.
-- US-301 Potomac River Bridge was and is two lanes.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 11:20:01 PM by Beltway »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2017, 08:38:59 AM »

I saw the plans for it on MDTA's website, and I have to say while I'm glad they want to replace it with a four-lane version, I'm not a big fan of the design. It doesn't allow big ships to pass under it like the current version does, and it looks like a big long high overpass.

I was also a bit bothered by the fact that both lanes of the new one will be on one side of the old one, but I got over that.

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2017, 09:07:10 AM »

No need for "big ships" to pass through anymore...there's not much left in the way of port facilities in the D.C. area, and all Navy and shipping functions long ago moved elsewhere.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2017, 11:31:26 AM »

No need for "big ships" to pass through anymore...there's not much left in the way of port facilities in the D.C. area, and all Navy and shipping functions long ago moved elsewhere.

Here's the details --
http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Capital_Projects/Potomac_River_Bridge_Project/Documents/Nice_Bridge_Presentation_.pdf

Proposed Changes
.................................. Description of Change................................... Estimated Cost Savings
Horizontal Clearance..... Reduce clear width from 700’ to 250’............... $45 million
Vertical Clearance......... Reduce vertical clearance from 135’ to 106.5’...  $6 million
Channel Shift............... Shift C/L of channel 585’ to the west................ $52 million
....

That will still handle large vessels, just not quite as large as it is used to.  As the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy is loathe approve any bridge design that even -might- affect future navigational needs, I'm sure that they studied this carefully before approving this design.

Actually the final approval may still be pending, as the document has this statement --
U.S. Coast Guard: No objectionable comments received on USCG “Notice to Mariners”.  USCG verbally indicated that approval is forthcoming on the “Request for Preliminary Determination”.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #71 on: November 03, 2017, 12:11:31 PM »

Regarding the size of ships, it seems like nowadays more often than not the only significant larger vessels to come up the Potomac are tall ships coming to Alexandria. I don't know how tall their masts usually are, but it's hard to imagine the Nice Bridge's proposed clearance of 106.5 feet would be that big of a deal. Note, also, the Washington Navy Yard is unlikely to be an issue because the new Douglass Bridge over the Anacostia River is to be a fixed span (the current one is a swing bridge); this is one reason why they had to move the USS Barry out of there when they did, so that it wouldn't get stuck upstream of the new Douglass Bridge. Having the fixed Douglass Bridge effectively means there won't be anything taller than its clearance going to or from the Navy Yard, and it's pretty certain that bridge will have a lower clearance than the new Nice Bridge will. I kind of view it from the assumption that the approval of the Douglass Bridge design is effectively an acknowledgement that the Navy Yard is no longer a navigational issue.

froggie would know better than I, but I believe there is no shipping activity from the naval facility at Indian Head. I can't enter that facility, but a look at a satellite view reveals no infrastructure for vessels. It looks as though the Dahlgren facility probably doesn't have that sort of activity either. The significant port around here is really Baltimore.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2017, 12:30:09 PM »

Regarding the size of ships, it seems like nowadays more often than not the only significant larger vessels to come up the Potomac are tall ships coming to Alexandria. I don't know how tall their masts usually are, but it's hard to imagine the Nice Bridge's proposed clearance of 106.5 feet would be that big of a deal. Note, also, the Washington Navy Yard is unlikely to be an issue because the new Douglass Bridge over the Anacostia River is to be a fixed span (the current one is a swing bridge); this is one reason why they had to move the USS Barry out of there when they did, so that it wouldn't get stuck upstream of the new Douglass Bridge. Having the fixed Douglass Bridge effectively means there won't be anything taller than its clearance going to or from the Navy Yard, and it's pretty certain that bridge will have a lower clearance than the new Nice Bridge will. I kind of view it from the assumption that the approval of the Douglass Bridge design is effectively an acknowledgement that the Navy Yard is no longer a navigational issue.

froggie would know better than I, but I believe there is no shipping activity from the naval facility at Indian Head. I can't enter that facility, but a look at a satellite view reveals no infrastructure for vessels. It looks as though the Dahlgren facility probably doesn't have that sort of activity either. The significant port around here is really Baltimore.

There's a petroleum terminal that I think may still get some use at Piney  Point, Maryland (off of MD-249 in St. Mary's County).

There was a time when certain petroleum products (mostly home heating oil, maybe Diesel fuel) would be shipped by barge from Piney Point to a terminal on the lower Anacostia River in D.C. Those barges and tugboats would seem to fit under a lower Harry Nice Bridge. This facility was built and run by Steuart Petroleum for many years, but Steuart as a company disappeared by merger sometime in the 1990's or maybe 1980's.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 12:34:48 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2017, 12:33:31 PM »

No need for "big ships" to pass through anymore...there's not much left in the way of port facilities in the D.C. area, and all Navy and shipping functions long ago moved elsewhere.

District of Columbia and City of Alexandria have recently  raised concerns that the lower height would make it impossible for many tall ships to call on the two cities. 
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2017, 01:38:48 PM »

District of Columbia and City of Alexandria have recently  raised concerns that the lower height would make it impossible for many tall ships to call on the two cities. 

A quick search didn't find a comprehensive list of tall ships, but I found enough to see that current tall ships have heights ranging from 100 feet to 190 feet, plenty are over 135 feet.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:44:12 PM by Beltway »
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