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Interchange work begins

I-70, I-270

June 14, 1999

I-270 InterchangeBy ERIN HEATH / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




FREDERICK, Md. - Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to celebrate the beginning of the I-70 and I-270 interchange improvement project in Frederick County.

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The project will involve adding the missing pieces of the I-70 and I-270 interchange. Those include I-70 westbound to I-270 southbound and I-270 northbound to I-70 eastbound.

Currently, vehicles traveling between the two interstates must exit one roadway and travel on local roads through Frederick to get to the other interstate.

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The project also will involve building a third lane on westbound I-70 through the interchange area, reconstructing the New Design Road bridge over I-70 and widening two existing ramps between I-70 and U.S. 15/U.S. 40.

Work on the project is to begin today and should be completed by the fall of 2001, according to the State Highway Administration.

Other speakers at the ceremony, which was held across from the National Civil War Museum of Medicine overlooking I-70, were U.S. Senators Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski, both D-Md.; U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett Jr., R-Md.; Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth S. Wykle; and Maryland Senator Timothy R. Ferguson.

Townsend spoke about the importance of increasing the safety and efficiency of Maryland's highways and other transportation outlets.

"Our roads, our railroads and our airports are like Maryland's veins," she said. "They are our lifeline."

About 60,000 motorists use the I-70 and I-270 interchange daily, Townsend said.

Sarbanes and Mikulski also spoke of how the project will improve traffic safety and reduce congestion in the area.

"The more congestion, the more frustration, and the more frustration, the more likely accidents are to happen," Mikulski said.

In addition to the interchange improvement project, Mikulski said the planned extension of the MARC train to Frederick will help reduce traffic buildup in the area.

The interchange project is the second part in the State Highway Administration's five-phase project designed to improve interstate access around Frederick.

This phase will cost about $31.2 million, according to David Buck, spokesperson for the Maryland State Highway Administration. Federal funds will pay for 80 percent of the project and the remaining 20 percent will be picked up by the state.

Phase 1 of the project provided the missing pieces of the U.S. 15 and U.S. 340 interchange. The cost of that project was $22.5 million.

Beginning today, the State Highway Administration will close New Design Road between Adventist Way and Guilford Drive. The stretch of road will remaine closed for about two years while it is rebuilt.

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