BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Transportation Authority board has approved spending $50 million on preliminary work toward replacing the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.
The two-lane, 72-year-old bridge carries U.S. 301 across the Potomac River from Charles County to King George County, Va.
The bridge itself Is expected to cost $1 billion, and no funding has been set aside for construction.
However, the transportation authority has committed $56 million over the next five years for design work and to buy rights-of-way.
O'Malley calls the funding "a significant down payment on a wider, safer and more pedestrian-friendly Nice Bridge." The new, four-lane bridge would be built parallel to and north of the existing bridge. Nearly 18,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge, and that's expected to increase to 37,000 by 2030.