MDTA Recognized for Bridge Cable Preservation Project

[Editor: This is the text of a July 26, 2016, news release from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).]


Cable Dehumidification Project First of Its Kind in U.S.

BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has received local and national recognition for its innovative cable dehumidification project at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301). The $51 million project, the first of its kind in the United States, was completed last year and included the rewrapping and dehumidification of the main cables and anchorages of the eastbound and westbound Bay Bridge main spans, the only suspension bridges in Maryland.

“These awards show Maryland is a national leader in its use of innovation and state-of-the-art techniques to sustain Maryland’s infrastructure for years to come,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete Rahn.

Dehumidification is a cost-effective means of preserving main cable systems that has been proven on bridges in Europe and Japan. Twenty suspension bridges around the world use dehumidification systems to protect their bridge cables. Dehumidification systems eliminate moisture within airtight cable wrapping, delivering superior protection and extending the service life of the cables.

“It is an honor to have other professionals learning from our techniques,” said Milt Chaffee, executive director of the MDTA, which finances, owns, operates and maintains the state’s eight toll facilities. “After visiting the Bay Bridge project, several U.S. suspension bridge owners have indicated to us their plans to install dehumidification systems on their bridges.”

The MDTA and its project partners, AECOM, Ammann and Whitney and Kiewit Infrastructure, received the following awards for the team’s accomplishments:

  • 2016 Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Award of Excellence: MdQI presents annual Awards of Excellence and Partnering Awards for public-sector transportation projects in Maryland. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project won the 2016 Award of Excellence in February.
  • 2016 Grand Award – American Council of Engineering Companies Maryland (ACEC/MD) Engineering Excellence Competition: The ACEC/MD annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of innovation, achievement, and value. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project was one of 13 finalists in the competition and garnered the 2016 Grand Award in February.
  • 2016 Honor Award – ACEC National Engineering Excellence Award Competition: Since 1967, ACEC’s Engineering Excellence Awards competition has celebrated the world’s most outstanding engineering accomplishments. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project competed with about 150 projects and garnered a prestigious Honor Award in April.

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Contact: John Sales