Acceleration, deceleration lanes being built at I-70/I-81 interchange in Hagerstown

September 26, 2011

The Maryland State Highway Administration on Monday began a $4 million project to improve safety at the Interstate 70 and Interstate 81 interchange in Hagerstown, the SHA said in a press release.

The SHA is constructing new acceleration and deceleration lanes at two ramp movements to provide safer merge areas at the interchange, the release said. The new lanes will improve the movement from eastbound I-70 to southbound I-81, and from southbound I-81 to westbound I-70.

Crews also will resurface the ramps and apply new pavement markings as part of the work, the release said.

This is the second phase of improvements to the interchange. In 2009, SHA built acceleration and deceleration lanes to two other ramps at the interchange.

The bridge on I-70 over Hopewell Road will be widened to accommodate the new acceleration and deceleration lanes, the release said. The SHA will increase the clearance under the bridge by lowering Hopewell Road by about one foot. To perform this work, crews closed Hopewell Road. The SHA expects to reopen the road by the end of the year, weather permitting, the release said.

During construction, motorists should be prepared for nighttime single-lane and shoulder closures on eastbound and westbound I-70 Monday through Thursday between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. and on Sundays until 11 a.m. Lane closures should also be expected on I-81 between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The SHA anticipates completing the entire project in late 2012, the press release said.

For those traveling near Hopewell Road, the SHA has established detours for the temporary closure. Motorists north of the bridge will be detoured to Halfway Boulevard to southbound I-81 to southbound U.S. 11 to Milestone Terrace, back to Hopewell Road. Those south of the bridge will be detoured to Milestone Terrace to northbound U.S. 11 to northbound I-81 to Halfway Boulevard back to Hopewell Road.

The I-70/I-81 interchange carries 55,000 vehicles per day.

The SHA awarded the contract to Pessoa Construction Inc. of Fairmount Heights, Md.

Customers who have questions about traffic operations along I-70, I-81 or other state numbered routes in Washington County may call the SHA’s District 6 office at 301-729-8400 or toll-free at 1-800-760-7138.

The SHA reminds motorists to plan ahead and check travel conditions by calling 511 or going to Motorists can sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the website.

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