(January 29, 2013) – A joint project by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and Washington County to improve safety at the intersection of Alternate US 40 (Old National Pike) and Poffenberger Road east of Hagerstown reached a milestone today with the opening of a realigned section of Poffenberger Road. The new intersection, which opened shortly before noon, is approximately 250 feet west of its former location, offering improved sight distance for motorists turning onto Alternate US 40 from Poffenberger Road.

Poffenberger Road is now open to through-traffic between Alternate US 40 and MD 65 (Sharpsburg Pike). Due to construction, Poffenberger Road had been closed at Garis Shop Road since September 4, with local access from the MD 65 end only.

The newly reopened section of Poffenberger Road also includes a new roundabout at its intersection with Garis Shop Road. Roundabouts improve safety at intersections by enhancing intersection operations, slowing vehicle speeds and reducing the severity of crashes.  Roundabouts also provide a traffic calming effect as vehicles must slow down to enter the intersection. Motorists traveling through the roundabout have the right-of-way and drivers entering the roundabout are required to yield. For more information about roundabouts and how to use them, visit

The project will continue in the spring with additional improvements on Alternate US 40, including paving and the opening of new turn lanes from both directions of Alternate US 40 onto Poffenberger Road.

The $1.5 million construction cost for the project is being shared between SHA and Washington County, with the county funding about $1.25 million and SHA funding about $250,000. The contractor is C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown.

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.

SHA is making it easy to get safety tips and information on the go through Twitter @MDSHA and on Facebook at

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