Photo courtesy of SHA
Inspectors found 40 to 50 cracks in 13 concrete pier caps.

Concrete pier caps supporting three bridges on the new Intercounty Connector (ICC) in Maryland may have to be rebuilt following the discovery of cracks by Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) inspectors.

According to a project spokesman, 40 to 50 cracks ranging from .005 to .035 in wide, and 7 in to 3 ft 8 in long, were found in 13 pier caps in bridges spanning three separate roadways. While MSHA has determined that bridges are safe, the suspect caps will be reinforced with tensioned steel wire until a long-term solution is found

The three overpasses are part of the 7.2-mile first phase of the $2.56 billion toll road, which opened for traffic this past February. They were built by Intercounty Constructors, a joint venture of Granite Construction Co.; Corman Construction Inc.; and G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc., with Parsons Transportation Group and Jacobs Civil providing design services.

MSHA claims that Intercounty Constructors’ designers used an inaccurate model to determine the number of steel reinforcing rods necessary to sufficiently support the bridge’s structural loads. The agency adds that Intercounty Constructors will pay for the caps’ repair or replacement after the full extent of the flaws has been determined.

MSHA inspectors have found no similar flaws on the remaining 11 miles of the ICC still under construction. The entire highway linking the I-270/370 and I-95/Route 1 corridors just north of Washington, D.C., is scheduled to be complete by early 2012.