On Tuesday, road crews played the Hanover Street bridge version of whack-a-mole; doing their best to fill in potholes before others open but come spring the hope is no more patches…just smooth sailing.
"So, we got a commitment from the Department of Transportation, a three-phase commitment to make repairs to the bridge and I am very pleased that the first phase of that is going to be completed by the end of May of this year, 2018," said Baltimore Councilman Eric Costello.
That first phase is a two-inch-thick, new, smooth and continuous asphalt surface from City Garage in Port Covington to Harbor Hospital in Cherry Hill.
It is the immediate result of a letter both Councilmen Eric Costello and Ed Reisinger sent to the DOT last week.
A meeting last night put the immediate fix into motion followed by a more complete concrete re-decking beginning this time next year.
All of it designed to buy time for a more permanent solution for the bridge which could be six to nine years away.
"And we don't know exactly what is going to be in that long-term plan but again right now I am very pleased we have a short-term plan,” Costello said, “Right now obviously the driving surface of the bridge, not necessarily the structure of it, is unsafe."
Baltimore City Department of Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau says the Hanover Street bridge was one of the first projects she looked at when she took the job seven months ago.
It is a long-term goal that she can now say has a near literal stop gap measure.
But as the bridge is resurfaced once, then twice, the end game is still the complete reconstruction of the 102-year-old span.
It is a solution still being studied but could cost more than 100 million dollars.
"The cost is the big thing,” Pourciau, “The timing is around catalyzing the resources from ya know, all means to get it done. That's state, federal, local who knows, maybe private. We are looking at all possible efforts."