SHA BEGINS PROJECT TO REHABILITATE I-68 BRIDGES OVER KELLY BOULEVARD AND PATTERSON AVENUE

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MDOT SHA Logo)

(June 5, 2013) – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is rehabilitating the I-68 bridges over Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue in Cumberland, a project that includes a complete replacement of the driving surfaces as well as additional work to extend the life of the nearly 50-year-old structures. The $10 million project will feature the Maryland SafeZones automated speed enforcement program as a tool to protect workers, as well as drivers and their passengers.

“Together with the ongoing work on the nearby Crosstown Bridge, these projects will smooth the ride along I-68 through Cumberland and keep the bridges in good shape for decades to come while saving money on future maintenance,” SHA District Engineer Anthony Crawford said. “However, with three bridges under construction within a one-mile section, it is especially important that drivers slow down and use caution. The SafeZones automated speed enforcement program will be deployed for the first time in Allegany County as a tool to help keep the work area safe.” 

SafeZones cameras will be deployed for eastbound traffic from west of US 220 to east of Kelly Boulevard beginning Monday, June 10. Only warnings will be issued for an initial 21-day period through June 30. Beginning July 1, drivers excessively speeding by 12 or more mph over the 55 mph speed limit (67 mph or more) will be mailed a $40 civil citation.  

Work on the Kelly Boulevard/Patterson Avenue project began in May and will be complete fall 2014, weather permitting. SHA will remove and replace the existing bridge decks (driving surfaces) of both bridges, rehabiliate the existing abutments (end supports), clean and paint the structural steel, pave the approach roadways, upgrade traffic barriers, and install new signs and reflective pavement markings. 

Work will be completed in four stages to allow two travel lanes on I-68 to be maintained at all times. Motorists will encounter periodic lane shifts throughout the duration of the project. In addition, the on-ramp from Lee Street to westbound I-68 has been closed and will remain closed throughout the project for safety reasons due to its proximity to the bridge work zone. The detour route directs motorists from Lee Street to Beall Street to Allegany Street to Greene Street to westbound I-68.

SHA’s contractor for the Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue bridge project is Kokosing Construction Co., Inc. of South Charleston, W.Va. For more information about the project, visit http://www.bitly.com/kellypatterson.  

Maryland SafeZones joins SHA, Maryland State Police (MSP) and Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MdTA) in the statewide effort to improve highway safety. Mobile enforcement vehicles rotate among eligible work zones in controlled access highways with posted speed limits of 45 mph or higher. Large signs are in place in advance of the work zones to alert drivers of automated speed enforcement use. Crews also place a “speed trailer” to display the posted speed limit and drivers’ speeds in advance of the enforcement vehicle.

Since SafeZones launched in 2010, speeding violations in automated speed enforced work zones have decreased by more than 80 percent. Additionally work zone-related crashes, fatalities and injuries are at a more than 10-year low according to 2011 crash data. ASE is currently deployed in nine other work zones in the state. For more information, please visit www.safezones.maryland.gov

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!

 

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