Crews will also widen parts of Rt. 85.
Frederick, Md (KM). Work is expected to get underway soon on a project to widen Route 85 between Spectrum Drive and Crestwood Boulevard.
The Maryland State Highway Administration says part of the work will include the replacement of two bridges which take Interstate 270 traffic over Route 85. “They’re both what we’ve determined are structurally deficient,. meaning they are safe for travel, but they’ve just outlived their service life,” says SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar. “Those two bridges will be eliminated and one bridge will go in it place now to hold both of lanes that either go north or south of I-270 over Maryland 85.”
The two bridges were constructed in 1950, he says.
Gischlar says the preliminary work should begin within the next two weeks, according to SHA. The agency says the bridge work will take place first. When that’s done, crews will begin to widen Route 85 between Spectrum Drive and Crestwood Boulevard. Maryland 85 will have one lane in each direction.
SHA will also add some other amenities to the section of Route 85 as part of the project. “They’re going to be the ADA compliant sidewalks through that limits on Maryland 85. There will be shoulders for bike lanes through there. And you’ll have the concrete median which is a safety mechanism there so you don’t get the crossover crashes,” says Gischlar.
He says motorists will be inconvenienced while construction takes place. “I would imagine that there’s also going to be daily single lane closures on Maryland 85 as we go ahead and widen that as well. But a lot of that work is gong to take place behind concrete barriers,” says Gischlar.
The project is expected to be completed by late 2020, according to SHA.
The agency says the work is needed to accommodate the increased traffic in that area. Officials say the two I-270 bridges carry 115,000 vehicles each day over Route 85.
SHA says the project is estimated to cost $65.5-million. “A big investment to break congestion in that area, and get rid of two structurally deficient bridges off of that list,” says Gischlar.
This project is part of the Governor’s $1.97-billion investment to upgrade Maryland’s roads and bridges.
By Kevin McManus