The lane gave way following last year’s heavy rains.
Middletown, Md (KM) It’s been more than a year, but finally, two lanes of eastbound Route 40A near Braddock Heights have been reopened to traffic. The Maryland State Highway Administration says the “truck climbing” lane and the right shoulder were officially opened on Monday, August 12th.
Spokesman Charlie Gischlar says crews had to do some “serious, stabilization of that slope” which was impacted by the heavy rains which struck Frederick County in the spring of 2018. “Anybody who knows that side of Braddock Mountain knows it’s pretty, pretty incredibly steep slope there,” he says. “That one storm that happened way back in early spring of 2018 that kind of sat over that area–I think it dumped almost seven inches of rain in just an hour, hour and a half time–well, all that moisture, compounded with all the moisture we had last year on top of that help that slope pretty much give way.”
Those two lanes were closed while crews attempted to stabilize the road so it could handle traffic again. “So we had to reconstruct that whole thing. We had to put in drainage pipes and drainage ditches. We also did something called ‘rockbolting,’ which is a technique for geology that helped stabilize that slope,:” he says.
But it took more than a year to complete the job. “When you do kind of geological work, you need absolutely dry soil,” : says Gischlar. “As you know, 2018–the whole year–pretty much rained. We set records. And it carried into 2019.”
“It’s good to go now, and all those lanes are open,” he says.
The repair project cost $2.3-million. About 20,000 motorist travel that stretch of Route 40A each day, according to SHA.
By Kevin McManus