Next phase for Rt. 404 widening ahead of schedule
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.
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.