A bridge over the Metro and MARC rail tracks that serves as a connection for Berwyn Road in Berwyn Heights (map) was damaged by a Metro contractor with an entire center span knocked down rendering the bridge unusable for the foreseeable future.
The span was open, but empty, at the time, and nobody was hurt. The actions of the contractor, Skanska, are under review.
A large section of the bridge’s concrete base and walkway — which traversed Green Line and MARC train tracks in Prince George’s County — crashed onto a construction vehicle below, leaving the bridge’s mangled chain-link safety fencing hanging awkwardly in the air.
Dust and sparks flew as parts of the bridge crashed onto the tracks
Skanska workers had been building a test track for new Metro cars, and an operator lifted the excavator’s arm into the pedestrian walkway, Metro officials said. Skanska project executive John Hellman provided no immediate explanation of the incident and said the investigation is ongoing.
The bridge in the Berwyn Heights area is along a common route to Lake Artemesia Natural Area, a popular recreation spot.
Christy Dollymore walks her dog Lou across the bridge several times a week. It is the quickest way to reach the lake, and the walk itself is an attraction for some. She often sees parents bringing their children there to scope out the trains, Dollymore said.
“I’ve never been afraid up there,” Dollymore said, adding that she will not be scared off from using the bridge again once it is repaired. “It’s just a freak construction accident.”
And an inconvenience.
“We’re sad because we have to go the long way to get to the lake now,”
Train service was pretty quickly restored, but it's unclear how long it will be before the bridge is re-opened. The bridge serves as a connection between the Indian Creek Trail and the College Park Trolley Trail.