STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION MOVES US 220/I-68 RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT FORWARD - REOPENS ONE RAMP AND CLOSES US 220 UNDER I-68 JULY 24

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(July 17, 2012) – On Tuesday, July 24, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is closing US 220 (Greene Street) under the I-68 (National Freeway) overpass to northbound traffic. The closure is part of the $3.3 million project to improve and reconstruct the US 220/I-68 interchange in Cumberland.

SHA will temporarily close US 220 to northbound traffic between the on ramp to eastbound I-68 and the off ramp from westbound I-68, a distance of less than a quarter-mile. Both of those ramps will remain open. (Click here for map.)

Motorists traveling north on US 220 into Cumberland will be detoured onto eastbound I-68. Detour signage will direct motorists to take exit 44 (Willowbrook Road), make a left at the end of the ramp, and take the ramp on the left onto westbound I-68, where they may take exit 42 to return to Greene Street north of the closure. Local passenger vehicles may choose to use Cumberland exits 43 A-D. However, the detour is signed this way for truck traffic.

“SHA appreciates drivers’ patience during construction. The closure allows crews to safely complete this construction phase,” said District Engineer Anthony Crawford. “If Mother Nature cooperates, we will reopen northbound US 220 in late summer and complete the entire interchange project late fall.”

SHA began construction of the interchange improvements last spring and closed the ramp from US 220 to westbound I-68 on May 1. Crews will reopen this ramp on July 24 as they move into the next phase of construction. However, due to the closure described above, the ramp will only be accessible to southbound traffic on US 220 during this phase.

The interchange improvements include construction of a partial roundabout to provide direct access from Greene Street to eastbound I-68. The northbound US 220 closure will allow crews to reconstruct the roadway north of the new partial roundabout. The project also includes lengthening the merge area on the US 220/Fletcher Drive ramp to provide a safer transition to eastbound I-68.

SHA’s contractor for the project is IA Construction Corporation of Cumberland. Those who have questions about traffic operations along US 220, I-68, or other state numbered routes in Allegany County may call SHA’s District 6 Office at 301-729-8400 or toll free at 1-800-760-7138, or email SHADistrict6@sha.state.md.us.

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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