NEWS RELEASE

ON-RAMP FROM MONOCACY BOULEVARD TO WESTBOUND I-70 IN FREDERICK CLOSING MONDAY

‘No Merge Area’ Entering Eastbound I-70 from MD 85/East Street Begins Tuesday; Both Traffic Changes Will Remain Through Fall

(August 9, 2012) – Two major traffic changes begin next week at interchanges on I-70 in Frederick as the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) continues work to widen I-70 in the area of South Street.

On Monday night, August 13, crews will close the on-ramp from Monocacy Boulevard/South Street to westbound I-70. The closure will continue through fall. Drivers wishing to access westbound I-70 from Monocacy Boulevard or South Street will be directed east on the newly constructed section of Monocacy Boulevard, to a left onto East Street, and take the ramp onto westbound I-70. (Please see map.)

In addition, on Tuesday, August 14, crews will close the acceleration lane from MD 85/East Street to eastbound I-70 for reconstruction, creating a “no merge area” condition for traffic entering I-70.  The new merge condition will also continue through the fall. During the closure, motorists must obey yield signs, coming to a stop at the end of the ramp if necessary to wait for a break in traffic. Travelers on I-70 should stay alert and use caution in this area.

The ramp and acceleration lane closures are part of SHA’s project to widen I-70 from east of MD 144 to west of South Street and replace the I-70 bridges over South Street. The ramps and acceleration lane will reopen in the fall when crews shift traffic onto the new bridges and newly constructed outer lanes.

The ramp from westbound I-70 to South Street (exit 55) via Monocacy Boulevard has been closed since earlier this summer and is scheduled to reopen later this month. Motorists should continue using exit 56 to MD 144 (East Patrick Street). The eastbound on and off ramps at South Street will also close later this summer.

SHA’s contractor for the project is Corman Construction of Annapolis Junction, Md. Anyone with questions about the I-70 project may call the project’s 24-hour hotline at 855-213-0070.

While SHA and its partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert – look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don't follow too closely. Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For everyone!

Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information! Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit www.md511.org  for current travel information. Sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the website. Remember to use 511 safely – Maryland law prohibits hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.

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