NEWS RELEASE

SHA TO CLOSE RAMP FROM EASTBOUND LIBERTY ROAD TO NORTHBOUND I-695

Motorists Must Stay Left and Turn Left at Temporary Traffic Signal  to Reach I-695 North Starting on or about June 28

(June 21, 2010) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is moving forward with the $25 million project at the interchange of I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) and MD 26 (Liberty Road) in Baltimore County.  SHA began its project to replace the entire eight-lane bridge carrying I-695 over Liberty Road this spring.  Since April, crews have been working along mainline I-695 and removed a section of the median along MD 26.
  
As part of this project, SHA will temporarily close the right-turn ramp from eastbound Liberty Road to northbound I-695 (Beltway Inner Loop).  On or about 7 p.m. Monday night, June 28, crews will close the existing right-turn loop ramp, activate a new traffic signal and open a new double left-turn ramp that will provide temporary access from eastbound Liberty Road to northbound I-695. 

The new traffic pattern will be in effect on or about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 29.  In case of inclement weather, the ramp relocation will take place the next possible weeknight.  This traffic pattern will be in place throughout construction.

The overall bridge replacement project will improve safety and mobility for more than 210,600 motorists traveling this section of I-695 each day.  Built in 1961 and widened in 1968 and 1979, the structurally deficient bridge will be removed and replaced in several stages of construction work during the next two and one-half years.  The project is being constructed with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Additional work for the I-695/MD 26 interchange bridge replacement project includes: 
• Removing and replacing the existing four span, steel girder I-695 bridge over MD 26 with a new 200-foot, two span, steel girder bridge;
• Widening the bridge to provide for a new 12-foot collector/distributor lane along the northbound/inner loop side of I-695  to improve safety and traffic flow for motorists entering and exiting the I-695/MD 26 interchange;
• Constructing three new retaining walls and three stormwater management facilities;
• Constructing new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant five-foot sidewalks and ramps along MD 26 in the vicinity of the interchange, with improved lighting for pedestrians traveling under the bridge;
• Reconstructing the concrete median along MD 26 and drainage improvements;
• Restoring the landscaping disturbed within the construction work zone;  
• Resurfacing existing pavement on the I-695 and MD 26 approaches to the interchange;
• Installing new traffic signs and pavement markings in the vicinity of the interchange;
• Restoring the right-turn ramp from eastbound MD 26 to northbound I-695.

SHA’s contractor for the I-695/MD 26 interchange project is Concrete General, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.  The project is currently slated for completion in fall 2012.

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