SHA says it could be completed by late fall, 2013.
There's some good news for motorists who travel Interstate 70 near South Street in Frederick. "We are definitely entering the home stretch at this on construction," says State Highway Adminitration spokeswoman Heather Keels. She says the project, which replaces the two I-70 bridges over South Street, could be completed by late fall, 2013.
This project is part of the I-70 improvements plan from Mount Philip Road to East Patrick Street in Frederick. It included widening the super highway from four to six lanes, adding ramps to provide new connections to roadways such as Route 15/340, I-270, Route 40, Route 85/355, Route 351, Monocacy Boulevard and Reichs Ford Road. One of the projects was a connecting ramp from northbound I-270 to eastbound I-70, which was called the "missing link."
Keels says the bridge replacement project over South Street began in the spring of 2011. She says on a project like this, crews had to anchor the bridge in the bedrock, but they ran into some challenges with rocks. "The rock was a little closer to the surface than they anticipated, which meant some extra time drilling some rock sockets for the foundation of the new bridge. That set us back a couple of months," she says.
The SHA says the construction activities for June include excavation of the pier foundation, base asphalt for I-70 east of the bridges and the installation of a ditch liner. In July, crews will be construct the bridge pier and install a guardrail.
While work on this project is scheduled to be completed by late fall, Keels says the entire I-70 improvements project is expected to be finished next year.
During the time of the construction, motorists are urged to be cautious when driving through work zones. "While the project continues, we encourage everyone to continue to give the workers the space they need and slow down as they travel through that area," she says.
SHA says this entire I-70 improvements project will improve interchanges, remove unnecessary traffic from local roads, help improve safety and accomodate Frederick area traffic, which could increase by 60% in 2020.