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District 3 News

5/20/2011I-495 bridge over Northwest Branch Project




Crews Will Maintain All Through Lanes During Construction While Replacing 44-Year Old Riding Surface and Other Bridge Sections


(May 20, 2011) Those who travel along the Capital Beltway are now seeing the beginning of a major rehabilitation project.  The State Highway Administration (SHA) has begun a two-year, $7.9 million bridge deck rehabilitation project on the I-495 (Capital Beltway) Bridge over Northwest Branch.  The bridge is located between MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) and

MD 193 (University Boulevard).  Weather permitting, construction will be complete spring 2013.


SHA will replace portions of the existing concrete bridge deck.  Crews will also install new traffic barriers and new concrete in deteriorated sections of the bridge deck and resurfacing at the bridge approaches. 


Motorists should be prepared for changing traffic patterns along I-495.  SHA will maintain all four lanes in each direction by using three travel lanes and both shoulders.  The eight phases of construction will include temporary traffic splits and lane shifts on both sides of I-495.  Crews will also reduce the travel lanes from 12 feet to 11 feet.


“SHA is continuing to address system preservation statewide, especially for Maryland’s bridges in our metropolitan areas that carry thousands of motorists each day,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen.  “By remaining attentive and driving at the appropriate speed through the work zone, everyone – workers and motorists – can arrive at work, home or school safely.”


Once all work scheduled for 2011 is completed, the project will be shutdown for the winter.  Lower temperatures during the winter months are not ideal for installing the concrete overlay.  All temporary concrete traffic barriers will be removed from the work zone until construction resumes spring 2012.


SHA will close both shoulders and a single lane on both sides of I-495 overnight Monday through Friday between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.  Crews may close up to three lanes overnight between midnight and 5 a.m. Changes to the lane closure may change in late 2012. 


SHA awarded the contract to Martins Construction Corporation of Falls Church, VA.   SHA will provide variable message signs, jersey barrier wall, drums, and arrow boards to guide motorists through the work zone.  The existing structure was built in 1967 and carries an average of 230,000 vehicles each day.


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.


Citizens who have questions about traffic operations on I-495 or other state numbered routes in Montgomery County may call SHA’s District 3 Office at 301-513-7300 or toll free at 1-800-749-0737.  Citizens can keep up to date with project progress at