Stretches of the Intercounty Connector road's shoulder will be closed between Norbeck Road and New Hampshire Avenue beginning this week, so crews can repair cracks on three bridges over the $2.45 billion highway.
Repairs to the bridges — where Longmeade Crossing Drive, Layhill Road and Notley Road cross over the ICC — are expected to continue through the winter.
The type of repair “more than compensates” for problems detected when inspectors found early cracks in 10 of 49 bridges that run over or are part of the ICC, said State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck.
The repair involves drilling holes in the concrete pier caps where the cracks were found, inserting steel rods and tightening them, and filling gaps between the holes and rods with grout, Buck said.
Repairs on five other bridges over the ICC's western section, where cracks were found earlier this year, are almost complete, he said.
Those five bridges are where Redland Road, Needwood Road, Muncaster Mill Road, Emory Lane and Georgia Avenue cross the ICC.
Parsons Transportation Group Inc. and Jacobs Civil Inc. designed the bridges and agreed, at no cost to the state, to make the necessary repairs to the bridges that state engineers said should have contained more steel to ensure they last and remain safe as long as planned, he said.
Two other bridges — where the ICC crosses U.S. 29 and a ramp from U.S. 29 north heading west on the ICC — have cracks and the state is negotiating with the designer of those bridges, Dewberry, to get the repairs made.
Meanwhile, all the bridges are safe to use, Buck said.
Regarding the two bridges for which the state still is seeking repairs, Dewberry spokeswoman Molly Wagner said last week that the company is “cooperating with the state and responding to their minor questions … which largely have been resolved.”
“We expect the final review to confirm that the design is sound,” she said.
Asked whether the agency is worried that there could be a trend in faulty concrete work, Buck noted that problems were found in roughly “one out of five” ICC bridges .
“I think we go back to that's why we have bonding and why we don't accept [a project that has been completed] ... before we go back and check it,” Buck said.
Staff writer C. Benjamin Ford contributed to this report.