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Widening work to begin on Dual Highway, Edgewood Drive

December 07, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- Construction crews soon will begin widening portions of Dual Highway and Edgewood Drive as part of an intersection improvement project, the State Highway Administration said.

Work started in August on the project, which is being jointly funded by SHA, Washington County and the City of Hagerstown.

The $6 million construction contract was awarded in June to Pessoa Construction of Fairmont Heights, Md. The full project cost -- including planning, design, right-of-way acquisition, construction and other costs -- is estimated at $14 million, the SHA said.

Crews already have installed a new stormwater management pond on the south side of the intersection of Mount Aetna Road and Edgewood Drive, SHA spokeswoman Lora Rakowski said last week.

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"That upgrade will help prevent flooding in that area," she said.

Crews also have been working to install a water line from Mount Aetna Road to U.S. 40 and are working to connect the new water line to existing outfalls and inlets, Rakowski said.

Within the next few weeks, crews will move on to the widening portion of the project, which includes adding a third through-lane in each direction of U.S. 40 between I-70 and Mount Aetna Road and adding a second through-lane in each direction of Edgewood Drive from Mount Aetna Road to the Hoffman Auto Mall, the SHA said.

The project also involves adding new double left-turn lanes from southbound Edgewood Drive to eastbound U.S. 40, adding sidewalks along U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive, and installing countdown timers and a voice alert system to help pedestrians cross the street at the intersection.

SHA anticipates completing the overall project in fall 2010, Rakowski said.

"I'm very pleased this project has reached this point of construction," State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said in a news release. "It is a very important project, very much related to the future quality of life in Washington County."

Munson said he was grateful for the support the project has received from the city and county governments, the Washington County Delegation and the community.

Local officials have stressed the importance of expanding the Edgewood Drive-Dual Highway intersection before a new regional hospital opens off Robinwood Drive, adding traffic to the already congested intersection.

The hospital is projected to open in December 2010.

The intersection project has been in the works for about seven years, but was delayed first by negotiations about how the city and county would split the costs, then by a dispute regarding the first set of bids for the project. The SHA rejected those bids and opened a second round of bidding in March 2009.




Edgewood Drive-Dual Highway project at a glance



What they're doing:

o Widening existing two-lane U.S. 40 to three through-lanes from west of I-70 to east of Mount Aetna Road

o Widening Edgewood Drive to two through-lanes between the Hoffman Auto Mall and Mount Aetna Road

o Adding new double left-turn lanes from southbound Edgewood Drive to eastbound U.S. 40

o Adding countdown timers and an automated voice alert system to help pedestrians crossing the intersection at the existing traffic signal

o Constructing new ADA-compliant sidewalks along westbound U.S. 40 and on Edgewood Drive in both directions throughout project limits

o Improving the stormwater management system

What to expect: Lane closures weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weeknights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews might also need to close a lane of Edgewood Drive on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Timeline: Construction began in August and should be completed by fall 2010, weather permitting.

Cost: About $14 million, shared by the state, City of Hagerstown and Washington County. The state is paying half, the city 20 percent and Washington County 30 percent.

Information from the Maryland State Highway Administration

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