STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION REPLACES DRIVING SURFACE ON THE WESTBOUND I-70 BRIDGE OVER I-81 IN WASHINGTON COUNTY

MDOT SHA Logo

MDOT SHA Logo)

Project Continues Governor Hogan’s Commitment to Eliminate Structurally Deficient Bridges, Improve Infrastructure Statewide

(March 29, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is beginning a $9.2 million project to replace the westbound I-70 Bridge deck over I-81 in Washington County.  The project should be complete summer 2019, weather permitting.

The 53-year old steel girder bridge is safe, but the bridge deck (driving surface) has outlived its useful life and must be replaced.  SHA’s contractor, Triton Construction, Inc. of St. Albans, West Virginia, will remove and replace the existing bridge deck, repair and paint the structural steel, rehabilitate the existing piers and abutments, and replace underpass lighting. 

“There will be some traffic delays as the work zone is modified for each phase of the bridge rehabilitation project,” said SHA District Engineer Anthony K. Crawford.  “We appreciate motorists’ patience as SHA works to improve the drive for thousands of motorists who rely on this bridge every day.”

The contractor will complete the work in four phases with three travel lanes maintained for drivers throughout the project. Approximately 62,000 motorists use the I-70 Bridge over I-81 each day, including a significant amount of truck traffic.  Motorists and truckers will encounter lane closures, lane shifts, narrow travel lanes and shorter merge areas from I-81.

This structure is one of 69 structurally deficient bridges that the Hogan Administration inherited and dedicated resources to improve.  Once construction is complete, the new deck ratings will return to fair or better condition and remove this bridge from the list.

To support work zone safety, the Maryland State Police (MSP) and SHA will deploy the Maryland SafeZones Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) system along westbound I-70.  SafeZones Operators will use ASE cameras to enforce the 65 mph speed limit in the construction zone.   After a 21-day warning period, MSP will authorize citations starting in the late spring.  Drivers excessively speeding by 12 or more miles over the speed limit, or 67 mph or more, face a $40 civil citation.

Maryland drivers can Know Before They Go by calling 511 or visiting www.md511.org for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures. Those who have questions about SHA projects in Washington County may call the SHA District 6 Office at 301-729-8400, toll-free at 1-800-760-7138 or send email to shadistrict6@sha.state.md.us.

Maryland SafeZones supports SHA, MSP and Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MDTA) in the statewide effort to improve work zone safety.  Nationally, four out of five people injured in a work zone crash are passengers or drivers, not workers.

SafeZones mobile enforcement vehicles rotate among designated construction zones along controlled-access highways with posted speed limits of 45 mph or higher.  SHA places large signs in advance of the work zones to alert drivers of ASE. Crews will also place a “speed trailer” to display the posted speed limit and drivers’ speeds in advance of the enforcement vehicle. Where the State has deployed SafeZones, speeding violations have decreased by more than 90 percent. For more information, please visit www.safezones.maryland.gov.
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