The City of Prince George’s transportation department is monitoring road and traffic conditions near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Carney Street, where much of the traffic which normally would have crossed the Cameron Street Bridge has been rerouted to.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on it,” transportation manager Frank Blues said. “Some of the signals have been adjusted to optimize travel for the heavy traffic times. The industries on River Road have advised us their drivers are doing their best to minimize conflicts by scheduling mill trips for non-peak times.”
The wear and tear on roads in that area has less to do with the added heavy truck traffic and more to do with the weather, Blues said.
“Fifth Avenue is an arterial road and its intended to carry normal volumes of industrial traffic,” Blues explained. “[The wear on the road] is pretty typical for the type of freeze-thaw weather we’ve had. The snow we’ve had combined with overnight freezing and daytime thawing is just about the worst conditions for pot holes.”
The section of Fifth Avenue east of Carney Street was repaved last summer, he said, but the section west of Carney was last repaved four years ago.
The City is moving ahead with plans to rebuild or replace the Cameron Street Bridge, he added.
On Jan. 31, the City closed the bidding for an engineering review of the current bridge’s piers and abutments.
The engineering study will determine if a new, taller bridge could be built on the site, Blues said. It would reduce the cost if the City could use the existing piers with a new superstructure.
Blues anticipated a contract would be awarded within a couple weeks; the review conducted through March and April when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will allow work to be done in the river; and a draft report to the City in May if all goes smoothly.
“The report review process may take awhile, depending on how straightforward it is,” Blues said. “Once we’ve reviewed it, we’ll present a final report to council.”