Western Maryland Highway project nears completion

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The Western Maryland highway is nearly completed according to the Maryland Department of Transportation‘s State Highway Administration who announced that the project was 83 percent complete. The US$61.5 million project involves major excavation work and the reconstruction of the interchange. This involves the construction of two roundabouts, one on each side of I-68, and building a new bridge to span the U.S. 40 alternate (National Pike). Other work in the contract includes resurfacing and restriping the I-68 interchange U.S. 40 Alternate at U.S. 219 and existing U.S. 219 at the tie-in point at Old Salisbury Road.

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The U.S. 219 (Chestnut Ridge Rd.), I-68 (National Freeway), and Old Salisbury Rd and design and construction of U.S. 219 to a four-lane divided highway from I-68 to Old Salisbury Road, where it will eventually connect with the Pennsylvania section of U.S. 219 once that section is built. The four-lane divided highway project is 1.5 mi. (six-lane miles plus shoulder) in length and involves several phases of construction under traffic at the I-68 interchange.

Triton Construction, the company to which the project was contracted, received funding for the project from a mix of state and federal dollars, including Appalachian Development Highway System Funds. Totals include US$1.2 million for planning, US$5 million for design, US$3.8 million for right-of-way, and US$51.5 million for construction.  According to MDOT SHA, the Appalachian Development Highway System is a 3,090-mile system of modern highway corridors designed to generate economic development in previously isolated areas, supplement the interstate system, and provide access to areas within the region as well as to markets in the rest of the country.

Upon getting back to work, paving was scheduled for the first full week of April. As the weather warms up, pavement markings will be placed, plantings will begin and final work on the southern roundabout will move forward. The Western Maryland project is slated to be completed by the end of April when ribbon-cutting is being planned.