Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6), a representative from Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) met with Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration officials Kelly Nash, Division Chief Structures Engineering; Frances Ward, Community Liaison District 4 for Baltimore and Harford Counties, Steve Garoutsos, Paint Project Design, and others to discuss improvements to the Back River Bridge façade.

Delegate Metzgar was unavailable due to COVID, and was home in quarantine. Delegate Metzgar’s office arranged this important meeting. Delegate Metzgar was responsible for the new LED Lights on the Back River Bridge seven years ago.

From information obtained from the Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River, The first Back River Bridge was built around 1895 as a streetcar bridge which was destroyed by the Hurricane of 1933. It was replaced by an automobile bridge shortly thereafter. The third bridge was built and widen to accommodate two lanes of traffic in both directions.

The current Back River Bridge was built in 1988 by the Baltimore-based Cianbro Corporation. The structure of the bridge is physically sound but thirty-three years of weather, salt from snow, wind tunnel effect, etc. have taken its toll on the bridge.

The group met for about forty-five minutes at the bridge to explore possibilities. Sandblasting to remove the existing paint was one of the first topics of discussion. State Highway Officials are going to explore other possibilities and have a follow-up meeting to discuss proposals and costs of future maintenance of the bridge.

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