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I-70 lanes reopen

September 05, 2000

I-70 lanes reopen



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


There won't need to be any more lane closures in Washington County on Interstate 70 stemming from work related to the laying of fiber-optic cable, a Maryland State Highway Administration spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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The interstate shoulder will be closed from Md. 68 to the Washington-Frederick County line, but that should not cause traffic problems, SHA spokeswoman Lora Rakowski said.

Stretches of I-70 westbound were closed in the morning for the last two weeks during weekdays, she said.

The project was originally expected to take two to three weeks, Rakowski said.

Originally, one lane of the interstate was to be closed throughout Washington County, but that was modified, and stretches of less than 10 miles were closed at a time.

There were no reported problems due to the lane closures, according to Rakowski.

Level 3 Communications, a Philadelphia- based company, completed laying the cable along the shoulder of Interstate 70 between the Frederick County line and Hagerstown. That work was done at night and also involved some lane closures, Rakowski said.

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For the last two weeks, company workers were restoring vegetation that had been moved or altered while the cable was being put in place, Rakowski said. The company asked for and received state permission to close a lane so they could do that work during the day, she said.

Workers are also laying cable and doing restoration work on I-70 between Hagerstown and Hancock, she said.

On Interstate 81, drivers will continue to be diverted onto the ramps at Halfway Boulevard as crews begin demolishing the old two-lane bridge over the interstate.

Interstate traffic will have to use the ramps to exit and re-enter I-81 in both directions for from four to six weeks between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weeknights, Rakowski said

Because the ramps are one lane, the I-81 will be merged into one lane in both directions for up to a mile before Halfway Boulevard, she said.

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