Western Maryland tour highlights MDOT projects

Work in progress on the Interstate 70 bridge ove Interstate 81 in Hagerstown.
Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Work in progress on the Interstate 70 bridge over Interstate 81 in Hagerstown, Md.
Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

 

Western Maryland officials heard updates on funding and projects when the Maryland Department of Transportation’s annual tour swung through Allegany, Frederick and Washington counties.

In each county, Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports met with local officials to discuss the Draft FY 2018-2023 Consolidated Transportation Program, which details MDOT’s draft six-year capital budget. After input from the state’s 24 jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.

In each county, Ports announced funding for local priorities and updated officials on projects. Here are some highlights, according to releases from MDOT:

Allegany County

Funding for local priorities includes:

• $6.4 million in Highway User Revenues and grant dollars.

• $7,000 award to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and $2,000 for the Cumberland Police Department in highway safety grants.

• $1.5 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system, and $223,000 for nonprofit organizations that provide transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities.

Ports said the $4.5 million project to replace the structurally deficient Md. 47 Bridge (Barrelville Road) over North Branch, just north of Md. 36, could be finished this winter. Next summer, the State Highway Administration will begin a $5.1 million project to replace the structurally deficient Md. 36 Bridge (New Georges Creek Road) over Jennings Run. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. Also next spring, SHA will advertise a $6 million project to rehabilitate the bridge on I-68 over Md. 639. This project is anticipated to be open to traffic in the fall of 2020.

Frederick County

Funding for local priorities includes:

• $16.4 million in Highway User Revenues and grant dollars.

• $45,000 in highway safety grants for the Frederick Police Department.

• $6 million in operating and capital grants to support the local bus service, TransIt.

Ports highlighted SHA’s $36.9 million for two projects to break the bottleneck near AstraZeneca. The first, to widen Md. 180 and Solarex Court, opened to traffic in December with final paving and improvements completed this summer. The second project, worth $31 million, is in design to replace the Md. 180 bridge over U.S. 15. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2018.

MDOT SHA also is nearing completion of the new $61 million grade-separated U.S. 15 interchange at Monocacy Boulevard and Christopher’s Crossing, which will open in phases in the spring and summer of 2018. Associated improvements include creating a new east-west route across northern Frederick and constructing a park-and-ride lot to be served by MTA Commuter Bus service to Montgomery County. SHA also will begin the $101 million Interstate 270 interchange reconstruction at Md. 85 this fall, which completion scheduled for 2021.

Washington County

Funding for local priorities includes:

• $10.1 million in Highway User Revenues and grant dollars.

• $37,500 to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and $17,500 for the Hagerstown Police Department in highway safety grants.

• $2.8 million in operating and capital grants to support the community. Additionally, $550,000 is given to nonprofit organizations that provide transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.

Ports said SHA recently completed three bridge projects: Md. 63 over James Run opened in August (a week ahead of schedule); the I-70 bridge project over U.S. 522; and the eastbound I-70 bridge on the ramp to I-68. Another major bridge project, westbound I-70 over I-81, will be done by Thanksgiving. SHA has several bridge projects under design, including Md. 68 over Beaver Creek; Md. 56 over I-70; eastbound I-70 over Md. 65; and Md. 68 over Western Branch.

Ports also noted the $102.6 million project launched last fall to upgrade and widen I-81 from U.S. 11 in West Virginia to north of Md. 63/Md. 68. The project, which includes widening and upgrading the bridge over the Potomac River, is expected to be completed in 2020. SHA also is constructing drainage improvements along I-70 from the Pennsylvania state line to the Frederick County line. This $4.7 million project was to be finished in October.