UPDATE: June 8, 2014 4:01 p.m.
BALTIMORE (WNEW/AP) — Highway crews were working through the weekend to repair a westbound bridge on Interstate 70 after a crack was discovered in a beam under the structure.
At 4 p.m. Sunday, the Maryland State Highway Administration announced the westbound bridge had reopened. Officials say the repairs are complete and the bridge is safe for travel.
BREAKING NEWS: SHA OPENS WESTBOUND I-70 BRIDGE OVER THE PATAPSCO RIVER. Details: ow.ly/xLjYA—
MD State Highway Adm (@MDSHA) June 08, 2014
Additionally, crews reopened the ramps from the inner and outer loop of I-695 to access westbound I-70.
After closing the bridge Friday afternoon, crews bolted and welded steel plates to the bridge beam as a permanent repair for the long term safety of the bridge.
SHA inspected the remainder of the bridge and the adjacent eastbound bridge and determined all other elements of the bridges were in acceptable condition and did not need any work.
SHA ordered the bridge closed about 3:30 p.m. Friday just before rush hour. The bridge goes over the Patapsco River at the Baltimore County-Howard County line. It carries an average of 100,000 vehicles a day.
Drivers were forced to take alternate routes.
SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar says a crew painting underneath the bridge on Friday noticed a crack in a metal beam and notified state officials. He says engineers have designed a fix and a contractor is fabricating the piece to make repairs.
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