The following is a reply from Arthur Holmes, Jr., Director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation if Montgomery County, Maryland, to a Seven Locks parent's questions about Kendale Road, where the "replacement" school is to be built. Text follows:
Thank you for your letter of January 3, 2005, requesting information concerning the Seven Locks Elementary School replacement location at Kendale Road.
Below, I have provided the answers to the questions which fall under the purview of the Department of Public Works and Transportation. The Board of Education (301-279-3000) and the Department of Fire/Rescue Services (240-777-2400) will be able to provide you with answers to the remaining questions.
Question #1 - What is the current maximum weight limit for Kendale Road?
Answer: There is no maximum weight limit for Kendale Road or Kentsdale Drive. Nor is there a maximum weight limit for the bridge on Kendale Road.
Question #2 - Why is there a "No Thru Trucks over 3/4 Ton" sign at the Bradley Blvd and Kendale Road location?
Answer: The "No Thru Trucks Over 3/4 Ton" regulation has been in place since 1966. Based on the normal process, residents asked for installation of such a regulation, their request was investigated, and a "No Thru Trucks Over 3/4 Ton" regulation was approved.
Question #11 - What is the County or State procedure for testing a bridge for maximum weight?
Answer: After each cycle of the County's bienniel bridge inspections, the County evaluates the live load capacity for each bridge based on the actual inspected condition of the bridge structural components and their foundations. A structural analysis is then performed, if necessary, to determine the current maximum live load capacity of the bridge considering the four legal trucks allowed in the State of Maryland. A diagram showing the configuration of the Maryland Legal Load Types is attached.
Question #13 - What is the width of a typical Montgomery County Fire Truck?
Answer: 8 feet wide
Question #15 - What is the bridge weight limit needed to accommodate two buses or a bus and a fire truck?
Answer: The weight of a bus or a fire truck does not exceed the weight of the corresponding type of legal truck allowed in Maryland. Regarding the number of trucks that can occupy the bridge at one time; the live load capacity analyses for a bridge considers the maximum number of legal trucks which the bridge can carry within its roadway width.
Question #16 - What is the bridge strength requirement to accommodate two buses or a bus and a fire truck?
Answer: If "strength" is defined as the total load carrying capacity of a bridge, then the "strength" of a bridge that will accommodate a bus and a fire truck is unique for every bridge and is equal to the strength that will carry the corresponding type of legal truck allowed in Maryland, the "strength" required to carry the self weight of the bridge, and the "strength" required to carry all other loads that may be placed upon it. Appropriate safety factors are also applied to the "strength."
Question #17 - Does the bridge that is located on the Kendale Road currently meet all safety requirements to be able to have two buses pass on it at the same time?
Answer: The bridge located on Kendale Road has the strength necessary to safely carry two buses at the same time. (Note - from Fran - it may NOT be wide enough to accomodate two buses at a time.)
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Arthur Holmes, Jr.
Department of Public Works and Transportation