Bridge expansion should help traffic congestion

August 12, 1997


Staff Writer

Traffic congestion at the intersection of Dual Highway and Eastern Boulevard could be eased in the year 2000 as the result of a planned $1.9 million bridge expansion.

Maryland State Highway Administration officials plan to expand the Antietam Creek bridge on U.S. 40 eastbound to provide for two-way traffic, said George Small, assistant district engineer for traffic.

A concrete barrier would separate the two eastbound lanes from a planned westbound left-turn lane onto Eastern Boulevard south, City Engineer Bruce Johnston said.


The public will have an opportunity to hear the state's plan and comment on it during Wednesday night's Hagerstown Planning Commission meeting at 7 in Council Chambers at City Hall.

State officials plan to expand the steel bridge in the eastbound lanes of the Dual Highway because the concrete and stone arch westbound bridge is historical, Small said. The bridge in the westbound lanes is the original U.S. 40 bridge that was used when the highway was a two-lane road.

In addition, expanding the eastbound lane would be less expensive than rebuilding the westbound bridge, officials said.

A fourth westbound lane needs to be added because traffic is backing up at the Eastern Boulevard intersection, especially in the right-hand lane on Dual Highway. Drivers in that lane may go straight or turn right.

Of the remaining two westbound lanes, one is for through traffic and the other is for left turns onto Eastern Boulevard South.

According to the plan, the four westbound lanes would include one right-turn only lane, two through lanes and one left-turn only lane.

The left-turn only lane would begin shortly after the point where Dual Highway intersects with Cornell Avenue. The lane would gradually cross the median and end up on the eastbound bridge over Antietam Creek, where drivers could turn left onto Eastern Boulevard South.

Drivers coming onto Dual Highway from North Colonial Drive and who want to get to Eastern Boulevard South would no longer be able to turn left from Dual Highway onto Eastern Boulevard South, because they wouldn't be able to cross the median to get to the left-turn lane, officials said.

Those drivers could continue westbound on Dual Highway, make a U-turn and come back to turn right onto Eastern Boulevard South.

Or, instead of coming out North Colonial Drive, motorists could go down to Cornell Avenue and turn right onto Dual Highway to get into the left-turn only lane for Eastern Boulevard South.

Construction would begin in March 1999 and be completed by the summer of 2000, according to a preliminary schedule by the State Highway Administration.

The Herald-Mail Articles