It opens on Wednesday afternoon.
It's been almost more than a year, but it's welcoming news for motorists. Route 550, between Eylers Valley Flint Road and Kelbaugh Road, which is north of Thurmont, will finally reopen to two way traffic, beginning Wednesday afternoon.
That area was closed last April because of a mudslide. "Crews were able to install a containment system to protect the road from falling rocks, mud and other debris," said SHA spokesman Dave Buck. "Things can still come down that hill, in terms of gravity, that's going to pull things down because it's a steep slope, but with the containment system, and the wall in place, people will be protected when they travel along that roadway," continued Buck. To stabilize the slope, which rises steeply from the east side of the road just south of the railroad bridge, SHA installed a containment system, including an approximately 150-foot-long retaining wall made of concrete panels and steel beams. The wall, which ranges from six to 10 feet tall and is topped by a 14 foot rock containment fence. SHA also installed a drainage system to help prevent future erosion of the hillside.
Later this summer, crews will resurface the affected section of route 550 under a separate, area wide paving contract, using a flagging operation to maintain traffic.