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The original item was published from 8/19/2015 3:58:25 PM to 8/19/2015 3:59:55 PM.

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Frederick News

Posted on: August 19, 2015

[ARCHIVED] CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW US 15 INTERCHANGE IN FREDERICK COUNTY

Partnership Project with the City of Frederick and Frederick County Creates Multi-Modal Benefits for All Travelers

For Immediate Release
Contact: Valerie Burnette Edgar, SHA, 410-545-0303

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW US 15 INTERCHANGE IN FREDERICK COUNTY
Partnership Project with the City of Frederick and Frederick County Creates Multi-Modal Benefits for All Travelers

(August 19, 2015) –The intersection of US 15 (Catoctin Mountain Highway) and Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick County is undergoing a major change that will benefit thousands who travel through this area daily. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is constructing a new interchange that will impact travel whether people are walking, riding or driving. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony with State, county and local officials highlights the start of interchange construction that provides a direct connection for motorists on Christophers Crossing and Monocacy Boulevard. Construction is underway and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2018.

Nearly 45,000 drivers travel through this area each day and traffic is projected to increase by 15,000 additional drivers by the year 2035. The $59 million project will provide direct access to US 15 and a 400-space ridesharing facility in the northeastern corner of the interchange that will connect to MTA Commuter Bus line #515.

“I am pleased to partner with the State and City to celebrate progress on this vital interchange. This new grade separated interchange will address traffic safety issues on US 15 at Hayward Road and will improve access to our largest employer, Fort Detrick.” commented County Executive Jan Gardner.

Creating safer roadways that provide more accessibility also creates opportunities for more economic growth in and around the area. The City of Frederick and Frederick County each committed $1.4 million for the engineering phase for the interchange project. Improvements support and improve traffic operations for area residents, businesses and Fort Detrick. Community-based improvements also include a shared hiker-biker path along Monocacy Boulevard and Christophers Crossing and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sidewalks.

“This project is another great example of The City of Frederick, Frederick County, and the State Highway Administration working together,” stated Frederick Mayor Randy McClement. “The completion of this project will greatly improve travel in and around Frederick.”

Construction of the US 15 / Monocacy Boulevard interchange also addresses needed safety improvements to support local roads and infrastructure: widening and deck replacement of the northbound and southbound US 15 Bridges over Tuscarora Creek to accommodate acceleration/deceleration lanes at the interchange; realigning Thomas Johnson Drive from Byte Drive to the east to create a T-intersection with Christophers Crossing; creating a cul-de-sac at Hayward Road and closing the median opening on US 15.

Crews will also reconfigure the US 15 / Willow Road intersection to restrict U-turns or left turns, except for emergency services vehicles. Lengthening the deceleration and acceleration lanes for traffic making U-turns from northbound US 15 to southbound US 15 at Biggs Ford Road will also improve safety, along with resurfacing US 15 from south of Hayward Road to Willow Road. Once complete, the new interchange will allow SHA to close the existing at-grade US 15 / Hayward Road intersection.

This project is one of three recent improvements along the US 15 corridor. In December 2014, the Department of Transportation completed the Motter Avenue interchange project that included a new bridge, sidewalks connecting schools and businesses and improved turning and ramp movements at Thomas Johnson Drive. Crews are also building an auxiliary lane along northbound US 15 between Motter Avenue and the exit ramp to MD 26 (Liberty Road) to improve traffic flow along the corridor.

“Providing a safe work environment for workers depends on each of us who travel through work zones. Drivers are reminded to remain attentive along US 15 and at nearby intersections while construction is underway,” said SHA District Engineer Mark Crampton.

In the next few weeks, crews will install barrier walls along the US 15 median; this work will require nighttime lane closures. SHA awarded the US 15 / Monocacy Boulevard interchange construction contract to Kibler Construction Co. of Finksburg.

As part of its efforts to maintain works zones for crews and drivers, the Maryland Safe Zones automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras will be deployed along US 15 beginning Tuesday, September 8. A 21-day warning period will follow, and the Maryland State Police will authorize citations starting Tuesday, September 29. The speed limit in the work zone will remain at 50 mph for southbound US 15, and at 55 mph for northbound US 15.

Drivers excessively speeding by 12 or more miles over the speed limit, or 62 and 67 mph or more, face a $40 civil citation. Since SafeZones official launched in 2010, speeding violations in automated speed enforced work zones have decreased by more than 80 percent. ASE is currently deployed in five other work zones in the State. For more information, please visit www.safezones.maryland.gov.

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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