Bridge Unwrapped 005.jpg

PHOTO BY ANGELA PRICE

The scaffolding on the Bay Bridge is uncovered now after unusual vertical motion on the bridge recently was attributed to wind in the coverings.

STEVENSVILLE - Maryland Transportation Authority has removed the fabric containments used during the repainting of the towers and other parts of the Bay Bridge structure after “unusual” vertical motion of the three-lane span sent workers scurrying to safety and closed the bridge for hours Aug. 28 until inspectors determined the bridge was safe.

The agency believes wind and the fabric containments were factors in the movement of the span, according to Harold Bartlett, MdTA executive secretary.

"We believe there was a specific wind pattern that affected the containment," Bartlett said. "We don't think it was wind velocity but rather the direction of the wind."

The containments are designed to catch paint chips and other debris and keep them from falling in the water.

In light of the findings, Bartlett said MdTA decided to take the fabric containment down and "re-think" their use.

The solution may be to use the containment in smaller-sized segments and not enclose as large an area so that wind would be less likely to affect it, he explained.

Until the smaller containments are erected the painting work will be put on hold, Bartlett said.

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