301 overpass bridge deck completed
MD 404 widening project moving full speed
— While many were still asleep Friday morning, May 19, the final section of the MD 304 bridge deck was pumped/ poured, reported Bob Rager for the State Highway Administration.
While a lot of machinery is involved, it still takes manual labor to finish this stage of the operation, said Rager.
On Monday, May 22, the J-turn in front of Maryland
State Police was closed to place pipe conduit across the highway for future utility connections. The closure is expected to be in place about two weeks, then crews will move to a southbound lane closure to wrap up the work, Rager said.
The SHA is expecting traffic to be traveling on the overpass by mid-summer. Not in it’s final configuration yet, explained Rager, but they will need to get traffic across 301 so the old ramp from westbound MD 304 to northbound US 301 can be shut down and the new ramp and roundabout connected.
The other major project affecting Queen Anne’s County residents and travelers is the completion of MD 404. The project is moving along well, although the pace is certainly frantic, said Rager.
Right now the contractors are doing soil cement, which basically locks the graded road bed down in advance of aggregate and base paving. Expect to see a lot of paving in the coming weeks, said Rager, and also the pouring of the deck for the new bridge over Norwich Creek.
“We’re gearing up for beach season, so of course the big 404 news is traffic, traffic, traffic,” said Rager.
“The 45 mph work zone speed is absolutely 24/7,” he added. There is a break in-between work zones, around MD 309 and MD 480, where there are two lanes in each direction and motorists can go 55 mph.
“Additionally, we’ve striped the work zones so there is no passing. This may frustrate some drivers, but we all have got to take work zone safety seriously — every one of us at SHA, the contractors and subcontractors and yes, all motorists.”
It is a partnership and we cannot do this work quickly and safely without motorist cooperation, says Rager. There is a lot of activity out here [on 404] during the week, on the road and along both sides of the road, including multiple flagging operations and equipment entering and exiting the highway.
Additionally, during the spring and throughout the summer, farm equipment continues to need access to 404, which might need a lane and shoulder.
“When you add all these factors together it’s easy to see why we want drivers to be patient, very patient,” said Rager. “You’ll have room to pass at MD 309 and MD 480 if necessar y, but even then don’t be in a great hurry — there’s a work zone waiting beyond this area no matter which direction you’re headed.”
SHA advises motorists to allow extra time when traveling 404 this summer and become familiar with alternate routes.
Workers stay one step ahead of the screed or “Bid-Well” (trade name), as the 304 bridge deck concrete is finished.