Next phase for Rt. 404 wi­den­ing ahead of sched­ule

Record Observer - - News - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

QUEEN ANNE — Phase 1B of the MD 404 du­al­iza­tion project — from west of MD 309 to east of Tuck­a­hoe Creek — is mov­ing along ahead of sched­ule, ac­cord­ing to Bob Rager, Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion dis­trict com­mu­nity li­ai­son.

Rager ad­vised traf­fic is now oper­a­tional on both sides of the bridge, “We just shifted traf­fic through the MD 309 in­ter­sec­tion and now have one lane in each di­rec­tion on the new di­vided high­way in­clud­ing the bridges over Tuck­a­hoe Creek. We still have me­dian work to com­plete, a con­crete bar­rier as well as bioswale con­struc­tion, so SHA will need to keep the left lane closed in each di­rec­tion for worker safety.”

With good weather, Rager ex­pects mo­torists should be us­ing all lanes by the end of Oc­to­ber. “We’ll still have land­scap­ing and punch­list work to do into next spring,” said Rager, “but our aim as al­ways is to pro­vide the max­i­mum pub­lic ben­e­fit (all lanes open) as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

The next phase of the MD 404 du­al­iza­tion project is ramp­ing up, ac­cord­ing to Rager. This phase will be­gin at US 50 to west of MD 309 and east of MD 480 to east of Holly Road. The SHA has a goal of com­plet­ing the re­main­ing nine miles of dual high­way by Novem­ber 2017. This in­cludes sev­eral dozen small pipe struc­tures un­der the road­way and a bridge over Nor­wich Creek — at Nor­wich Creek, which is about a mile west of 309, there is an ex­ist­ing bridge that car­ries two-way traf­fic — SHA will con­struct a new bridge along­side the ex­ist­ing one since the dual high­way will have two lanes in each di­rec­tion.

“To meet this ag­gres­sive sched­ule,” said Rager, “SHA will need to do a lot of con­cur­rent work — clear­ing, util­ity re­lo­ca­tions, stormwa­ter man­age­ment, fill, grad­ing, pipe cross­ings, paving, etc. Many of th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties will be tak­ing place through­out the cor­ri­dor at the same time.”

Rager ad­vised mo­torists should ex­pect lane clo­sure and flag­ging op­er­a­tions at any time and in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions. It would not be un­ex­pected to see two or three sep­a­rate flag­ging op­er­a­tions if you are driv­ing through all nine miles of the work area.

SHA urges 404-bound mo­torists to plan ahead, al­low ex­tra time, and be pre­pared to stop. Above all, SHA asks drivers to please be pa­tient.

“We all need to co­op­er­ate to get this work done safely and to en­sure that po­lice, fire and EMS re­spon­ders have the ac­cess they need at all times,” con­cluded Rager.

In an ef­fort to in­crease the safety of all those on the road­way dur­ing this con­struc­tion phase, SHA is im­ple­ment­ing a tem­po­rary speed re­duc­tion to 45 mph through the MD 404 work zones. Mo­torists should be alert for the change, said Rager, and signs should be posted in the com­ing weeks. Be sure to main­tain plenty of fol­low­ing dis­tance and again be pre­pared to stop, cau­tions SHA.

PHO­TOS BY AN­GELA PRICE

Work con­tin­ues on the Route 404 wi­den­ing project be­tween Denton and U.S. Route 50. This sec­tion is at the en­trance to Part­ner­ship Farm near Nor­wich Creek.

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