Councilmen call for emergency repairs to Hanover Street Bridge

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - The approach from the south offers some of the most sweeping views of the Baltimore skyline, but it's been rattling fillings and shredding wheels for years now.

"I think our current record is 18…18 in one day."

Joe Hooe is talking tires.

His shop, The Tire Network, sits at the end of Hanover Street in Federal Hill and for years, drivers come off pockmarked bridge and directly into his shop.

"Oh rebar, jagged concrete, you name it. Really it's shameful that it’s been allowed to get into the state that it's currently in," Hooe said.

Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello has seen enough.

"Something needs to happen now. We need the entire bridge re-decked immediately."

Together with Councilman Ed Reisinger, the two sent a letter to the city Department of Transportation demanding at least a new deck to the bridge, a complete concrete replacement of the driving surface.

It is an emergency repair Costello says could cost 5 million dollars but it is needed while a 3-year federal study is completed to determine the ultimate plan of repairing or replacing the entire bridge.

"I think it is incumbent upon DOT and the city to make immediate repairs so that it is safe and then we need to make sure that we are focused on what the long-term solution is and prioritizing that and that is going to be a partnership with the state and federal dollars," said Costello.

But in the meantime, Costello says the 102-year-old bridge needs more than patchwork repairs because they aren't just potholes, they are jagged steel traps.

And while they are catching business for Hooe's tire shop to a tune of about 6 a week, he says he'd be happy to cash that in for a safer bridge.

"It's a beautiful bridge but it needs repair work done desperately," Hooe said.

Costello says the city Department of Transportation acknowledged that they received the letter and there is now a meeting scheduled for next Monday to at least address the idea of a resurfacing of this old bridge.

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