Joint State-County Project Includes New Roundabout at Poffenberger and Garis Shop Roads; Poffenberger Road to Close Temporarily in Late Summer or Fall

(July 11, 2012) – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is beginning construction this week on an intersection improvement project at US 40 Alternate and Poffenberger Road, east of Hagerstown in Washington County. Weather permitting, the project will be complete by the end of the year.

The project, a partership between SHA and Washington County, includes relocating the US 40 Alternate/Poffenberger Road intersection approximately 250 feet to the west to improve sight distance, adding turn lanes in both directions of US 40 Alternate onto Poffenberger Road, and converting the nearby intersection of Garis Shop and Poffenberger roads to a roundabout to help slow traffic approaching US 40 Alternate.

“This project will greatly enhance safety at this intersection while accommodating future development in the area,” SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said.

The approximately $1.5 million construction cost will be shared between SHA and Washington County, with the county funding about $1.25 million and SHA funding about $250,000. SHA and the county shared design and right-of-way acquisition costs, and a private developer also contributed land for the project. The contractor is C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown.

“As safety is a top priority in Washington County, we are pleased to be working closely with SHA on this project and look forward to its completion,” Washington County Division of Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth said.

As part of the project, crews will widen US 40 Alternate by 14 feet for approximately 400 feet on each side of the new intersection location to allow for the new turn lanes. Lanes on US 40 Alternate will be narrowed and shifted while construction occurs behind barrier walls. Motorists should anticipate temporary single-lane closures Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Beginning late summer or early fall, Poffenberger Road will close to through traffic between MD 65 and Garis Shop Road while crews construct the new roundabout and realign a section of Poffenberger Road. Motorists wishing to travel between US 40 Alternate and MD 65 will be directed to use Wagaman and Garis Shop roads. Local access to homes on Poffenberger Road will be maintained. Crews will use variable message signs to alert motorists in advance of the detour.

Anyone with questions about the project may contact SHA’s District 6 office at 301-729-8400 or

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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