Problems occurred in resurfacing concrete deck of westbound
bridge (left) (Photo by Dan Breitenbach/Maryland Transportation Authority)

At least five separate errors combined to badly damage sections of the recently resurfaced parts of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, according to a new report.

The concrete resurfacing project was done on the bridge's thin deck, which also contributed to the delamination woes, according to an independent review panel. But its report also cited inadequate surface preparation of the deck substrate, use of an epoxy material applied to the substrate, use of silica-fume concrete mixtures, placement of concrete in cold temperatures and use of a sprayed curing compound.

In the wake of the panel's report, released Feb. 10, Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan says state officials will take "a fresh approach" to the next phase of $76-million project to rehabilitate the deck of one of the two, four-mile-long bridges that cross the bay. The details of that new approach won't be determined until tests of the deck are completed and analyzed, but Flanagan says the project's original 2006 completion date now is likely to extend into 2007.

Regarding potential costs, Flanagan says, "We are clearly opening up for consideration using a different process for the work that may have a different price." But he adds that discussions with industry may produce ways to reduce the cost.

Flanagan noted that the committee wasn't charged with assessing blame for the problem, but said the state attorney general's office would...