(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

(April 15, 2011) – Beginning Monday, April 18, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will temporarily close the MD 351 (Ballenger Creek Pike) intersection at Elmer Derr Road in Frederick County to construct a new single-lane roundabout.  SHA plans to complete the $1.3 million project and reopen the intersection in the fall, weather permitting. 

Flagpersons are working on site this week and are directing traffic during the day.  Next week, motorists will be directed to alternate routes as major construction begins. 

“Temporarily closing the intersection allows crews to complete the work several months quicker than maintaining traffic during construction,” said SHA District 7 Engineer Dave Coyne.  “Detouring traffic also provides a safer working environment for work crews.”

During the closure motorists on northbound MD 351 will be directed right onto Manor Woods Road to left on New Design Road to left on Corporate Drive back to MD 351.  Motorists on southbound MD 351 will be directed left onto Corporate Drive to right on New Design Road to right on Manor Woods Road back to MD 351. 

Roundabouts improve safety at intersections by creating a controlled one-way movement of traffic, removing the possibility of angle collisions.  Roundabouts also provide a traffic calming effect as motorists must slow down to enter the intersection.  Motorists traveling through the roundabout have the right-of-way and motorists entering the roundabout are required to yield.  Because of the anticipated increase in traffic volumes, Drees Homes - the developer of the Linton at Ballenger community located near the intersection - is contributing 25 percent of the construction cost.

At intersections in Maryland, crashes have declined by more than 70 percent where SHA has installed roundabouts.  Additional, there has been a 100 percent reduction in fatal crashes at newly-constructed roundabouts.  For roundabout driving tips, log onto

SHA awarded the contract to F.O. Day, Inc. of Rockville.  Those who have questions about traffic operations along MD 351 or other State numbered routes in Frederick County, may call SHA’s District 7 Office at 301-624-8100 or toll free at1-800-635-5119. 

Construction season is here with numerous active work zone sites that include major construction projects taking months to complete and mobile operations taking only minutes.  While SHA and its transportation 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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