LINTHICUM — Wonder what it is like to work on the Bay Bridge? For all, it is a challenge but also a great opportunity with a view of a lifetime.
The William Preston Jr. Memorial Bridge – or the Bay Bridge – is certainly an iconic symbol for those that live and travel in Maryland. For many it is a passageway for a weekend get-a-way. For thousands of others, the bridge is part of the daily commute. The deck rehabilitation project has been a hot topic of discussion for many, but there is also additional work in progress.
For example, Lighting Maintenance Incorporated crews have been working on one bridge project since August 2018 and continue work alongside other contractors through these intense and impactful projects.
“LMI is tasked with the removal and repair of the navigation lights, conduits, wiring, beacons and junction boxes on the bridge and the islands beneath that also help navigate boaters in the Bay,” LMI Construction Manager Larry Cartee said.
Distinctive to this project is the use of stainless steel products and PVC coated rigid conduit and fittings, most all of which must be custom fabricated, cut and threaded onsite to help fight and slow down future corrosion issues.
“This is a very special installation that not all electricians are not equipped for or familiar with the necessary techniques,” CEO Michael Yoder said. “We are dedicated to providing the best quality product and service.”
LMI’s work is mainly done from two 80-foot boom lifts chained down on a barge 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. Working through last winter’s months, the crew now only has a few locations left to complete of the 46 piers.
In addition, LMI’s crews work include hanging off structures from above, which do require special lane closures. An inconvenience to motorists but key to the safety of the workers.
“With this project particularly, safety is key and I am onsite frequently,” LMI’s Safety Manager John Rudasill said. “Special harnesses and lanyards, especially lanyards we are using to attach our tools so they do not fall off the bridge are just a few of our efforts.”
“The jobs remaining are very high and can only be accessed with a combination of lifts, suspension cables, catwalks and ladder systems,” LMI Lead Foreman Gillian Billey said.
With the harsh environment on the Chesapeake Bay in the fall and winter months, these repairs are absolutely necessary now, but have proven to be challenging to all that are working to complete the job.
“The weather plays a large part in our schedule due to high winds and rough waters,” Billey added. “We are trying to hit an early January completion date. Thanks to our crew, we’re on schedule as long as the wind, the waves and the temperatures work with us too.”