301 over­pass bridge deck com­pleted

MD 404 widen­ing project mov­ing full speed

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

— 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.

SHA PHOTO

Work­ers stay one step ahead of the screed or “Bid-Well” (trade name), as the 304 bridge deck con­crete is fin­ished.

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