(June 20, 2012) – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is beginning work this month on the Maryland approach to the US 220 (McMullen Highway) bridge over the Potomac River, between McCoole, Md. and Keyser, W.Va.

The improvements are part of an ongoing joint project led by the West Virginia Divison of Highways (DOH) to replace the Keyser-McCoole Memorial Bridge, which began spring 2010 and will be complete spring 2013, weather permitting. The new bridge is being constructed adjacent to  the existing bridge.

The project is now entering its second stage, which includes:
• Constructing the Maryland side bridge approach;
• Constructing a new exit ramp from northbound US 220 that will go under US 220 to westbound MD 135 (Queens Point Road/Westernport Road); and
• Paving to accommodate future phases of the project.

During this stage, motorists will experience lane narrowing and shifts on US 220 north of the bridge, where weekday traffic averages 13,740 vehicles per day. In addition, the construction will require closure of East Chesapeake Avenue and the south portion of Golden Cross Street. A detour using Parkland Drive and Queens Point Road, shown on the attached map, will be in place for the local residents affected by this closure. On US 220 northbound, the left-turn lane onto West Chesapeake Avenue will be removed, but left turns will still be permitted.

Weather permitting, the closures and detour will take effect on Monday, June 25. They will continue until approximately mid-October, when traffic will be shifted onto the new bridge, demolition of the old bridge will begin, and the new ramp will open. At that point, the project will enter a third stage that will require closure of part of West Chesapeake Avenue. SHA will distribute additional detour information prior to that closure.

The approximately $24 million project is being funded 65 percent by West Virginia and 35 percent by Maryland. For more information on this project visit Questions about work on the Maryland side of the bridge may be directed to SHA’s District 6 Office at 301-729-8400. Questions about work on the bridge and in West Virginia may be directed to West Virginia Project Engineer Derek Weichlein at 301-786-4193.

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  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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