Hogan announces new Potomac River bridge | WYPR

Hogan announces new Potomac River bridge

Nov 22, 2016

Gov. Larry Hogan (left) and state Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn announce plans for a new Potomac River bridge while standing at the base of the existing Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.
Credit Rachel Baye

The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to replace the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge that crosses the Potomac River from Charles County in southern Maryland to King George County, Virginia, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.

The announcement comes roughly six months after Hogan vetoed a bill the Democrat-controlled legislature passed to set aside money to replace the bridge.

Officials expect to begin construction in 2020 and complete it three years later.  They estimate the project will cost $765 million.

By comparison, the bill Hogan vetoed anticipated that the project would cost close to $1 billion and be completed by 2030.

Hogan said the legislators behind the bill were impeding efforts to replace the bridge in a timely manner.

“We’ve had a number of conversations and during the last legislative session we made it very clear that they were counterproductive and that they were interfering with our ability to get it done,” he said. “They were just playing politics.”

Alexandra Hughes, chief of staff to House Speaker Michael Busch, said the legislature introduced that bill because Hogan backed away from a previous state commitment to fund the project. She said Hogan’s new plan sounds “eerily similar” to the one he had refused to fund.