It had been closed for a long time due to construction work.
Frederick, Md (KM) Monocacy Boulevard between Schifferstadt Boulevard and Gas House Pike reopened Thursday afternoon, following months of frustrations and delays.
The stretch of road was closed beginning in October, 2017 for construction work, which included widening the road to four lanes, and the construction of a second bridge over the Monocacy River.
That part of Monocacy Boulevard had been scheduled to reopen in April, but that timeline was pushed back to October and then November. Citizens were getting frustrated. “We were frustrated. The community was frustrated. Everyone was frustrated with this,”: says Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor. “When you put a project out, we knew from the beginning with this project we were asking for the patience of the community in terms of what it was going to take to connect these two areas together and build a substantial infrastructure project.”
The contractor for this project, Milani Construction, said it was unfair to blame the company for the delays in this project, citing one cause as the heavy rains of 2018. But Mayor O’Connor says the city’s staff is not to blame either. “We feel very comfortable from the city’s side with the work that our engineering staff did and everything we put into it on our side,” he said. “The reason for why the project took longer than it was expected to do not rest with the city. We feel very confident in that. We feel very good about the work that our employees have done.”
But the Mayor says the city will conduct an evaluation of the project to try to prevent delays such a this from happening in the future. “We’re committed to examining all of the options that our contract permits in terms of what the next steps are. We’re certainly going to look at our own procurement practices and the way in which we bid projects to make sure that moving forward we don’t put ourselves in a situation where we’re going to repeat this exercise,” he says.
In a news release announcing the reopening of Monocacy Boulevard, the city says final sidewalk and landscaping work will be completed in the coming weeks, and one lane will remain closed during that time. “Our focus now is to get the contractor to completely wrap up this project and finish the work,” Mayor O’Connor says.
Motorists traveling that are advised to use caution as traffic pattern have changed. In addition, a new traffic signal is operational at the intersection of Gas House Pike and Monocacy Boulevard.
By Kevin McManus