UPDATE: Bridge On Route 198 In Laurel Expected To Reopen Within A Week After Section Washes Away

Heather Curtis

UPDATE (6/4/18 4:30 p.m.) –¬†¬†There’s some good news for drivers who use Route 198 in Laurel – the bridge over the Little Patuxent River is structurally sound according to Maryland State Highway spokesperson Charlie Gischlar.

“We’re hoping that within a week we can get that, if not sooner, get that roadway reopen again,” Gischlar said Monday afternoon. Monday morning Gischlar estimated it could take weeks to fix the damage.

WASHINGTON (WMAL) – A section of Route 198 in Laurel between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32 will be closed for the next few weeks after heavy rains Sunday washed away part of the bridge that goes over the Little Patuxent River according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

“What happened was a lot of debris built up underneath the bridge. It kind of damned up the flow of water, the intense flow of water, and it washed out the east hand abutment of the bridge, meaning the approach roadway,” said MDSHA spokesperson Charlie Gischlar.

Monday MDSHA crews started removing debris to get water flowing under the center span of the bridge, according to Gischlar. Then inspectors will examine the bridge to see if the structure is okay. If it is, Gischlar said they will fill in the roadway, resurface it and replace the guardrail. Gischlar said that process could take weeks.

In the meantime, traffic is being detoured onto westbound Route 32 over to 295 and onto 198 on the other side of the bridge. After driving the detour during the height of rush hour Monday morning, Gischlar advises motorists to leave themselves an extra 10 to 15 minutes to navigate it.

Copyright 2018 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. (Photo: Charlie Gischlar, MDSHA)

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