STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION BEGINS PROJECT TO STABILIZE MOUNTAINSIDE ALONG MD 135 IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

MDOT SHA Logo

MDOT SHA Logo)

Temporary Traffic Signal Alternates Traffic around the Repair

(February 3, 2016) – On Thursday, January 28, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) started a $2.7 million project to stabilize the rock face on the mountainside along MD 135 (Bloomington Road) near Upper Savage River Road, not far from the Allegany/Garrett County line. The mountainside was unstable and caused a rockslide on January 2.  The repair may take up to 20 weeks, weather permitting.

“Based on data collected from SHA’s engineering geologists and other experts in this field, the rock face of the mountainside is highly unstable and emergency measures are required to prevent further rock slides,” said SHA District Engineer Anthony Crawford.  “Safety is our number-one priority and we are taking measures to lessen the chances of another rock slide.”

The process developed is called “Rock Bolting.” Rock bolting is a process that is different from a technique used in spring 2015 slide in Westernport called “Soil Nailing.”  The mountain along MD 135 is comprised mainly of rock, not soil.  Although the repair will stabilize the mountain’s rock face, the repair is not considered permanent and engineering geologists are developing a long term solution to stabilize the mountainside.

Rock bolting involves removing any loose or unstable rock from the mountainside, a process known as scaling.  Crews will then drill to insert steel rods, such as rebar, into the affected region. The area is then draped with wire meshing and bolted down. Experts will then apply shotcrete (a spray form of concrete) to anchor, or bolt, the rock face to the mountainside, stabilizing it from further slides.

SHA established a containment area with concrete barrier to catch any unstable rocks and to protect motorists, as well as the pavement on MD 135. Traffic is currently being controlled through this area by a temporary traffic signal.  Motorists should plan an extra 15 minutes of travel time.

 

 

 
(SHA photo:  January 2 rock slide closing MD 135 near the Allegany/Garrett County line.)

SHA’s contractors for the repair are KCI Technologies of Sparks, rock stabilization experts Merco, Inc. of Lebanon, NJ, Belt Paving of Cumberland East Coast Bridge of Nitro, West Virginia.

For more information about SHA’s mountainside stabilization project, call SHA’s District 6 Construction office at (301) 729-8400.  For real-time traffic information, log onto www.md511.org.

 
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