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Interstate 70 bridge widening and rehabilitation to begin this summer

April 06, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

Three projects on Interstate 70 bridges could be going on within a five-mile radius this fall.

As the Interstate 70/Interstate 81 interchange safety improvement project could last until September, according to a published report in March, a bridge widening and rehabilitation project on Interstate 70 over Conococheague Creek is scheduled to begin this summer, and a bridge rehabilitation project on Interstate 70 over Md. 63, which is at Exit 24, could begin this fall, said Maryland State Highway Administration spokesperson David Buck.

"We are very cognizant of the traffic implications for the jobs," Buck said. "The contractors will have to work together to make sure there are no significant problems for traffic."

The Interstate 70/Interstate 81 interchange improvement project is currently the only one in progress. It began in July of 2011 and includes widening the Interstate 70 bridge over Hopewell Road, which is less than a mile west of the interchange at Exit 26 on Interstate 70.

Less than two miles west of the bridge over Hopewell Road is where the bridge rehabilitation project over Md. 63 is scheduled to begin this fall, said Buck. Part of the work there will include widening the median shoulders to improve safety, according to the SHA website, sha.md.gov. There is not yet a contractor for that project, and no costs have been determined yet, Buck said. The project is currently scheduled to be completed in fall of 2014.

Less than two miles west of the bridge over Md. 63 is where the widening and rehabilitation of the dual bridges over the Conococheague Creek is scheduled to begin this summer. Although no contractor has been determined for the project yet, the cost is expected to be around $20 million, Buck said. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.

Even if all three projects do not overlap, the projects over Md. 63 and over the Conococheague Creek will overlap at some point, said Buck. However, he added that the SHA should be able to handle it.

"We've done jobs in far more congested areas than this," he said. "We just have to work with the contractors on things to make sure traffic runs fine."

Traffic will be directed to the shoulder lanes on the bridges while the projects are in progress, and they will each go in phases, Buck said.

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