Traffic on U.S. 15 impacts the entire Glade Valley area. That traffic often causes stress, anxiety, and collisions on our roads. Some blame the lack of lanes, others blame the lack of traffic movements that require U-turns, and many blame every aspect of the road. Construction in our area aims to alleviate some of the issues for Glade Valley residents and beyond using the main artery of vehicular traffic running north and south along the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County.
Construction crews have taken advantage of a warm winter and lack of measurable snowfall to make marked progress on these projects.
The Monocacy Boulevard Interchange is the largest of the two projects. The new interchange will allow both southbound and northbound traffic to access all of the shopping, dining, and residential growth in the City of Frederick along Monocacy Boulevard and Maryland Route 26. Until this is complete, southbound traffic and folks trying to get from one side of U.S. 15 to the other make dangerous traffic movements. At grade intersections along U.S. 15 in Frederick continue to cause major collisions resulting in injuries, property damage, traffic delays, and tragic loss of lives.
This project involves constructing a new interchange to replace the existing intersection at US 15 (Catoctin Mountain Highway) and Monocacy Boulevard north of the City of Frederick. New interchange ramps will provide a direct connection those traveling at the US 15 interchange from Christophers Crossing and Monocacy Boulevard allowing drivers to safely merge onto US 15. Additional improvements include a shared-use hiker/biker path along Monocacy Boulevard and Christophers Crossing, ADA-compliant sidewalk and a 400-space ride-sharing lot in the northeast quadrant of the interchange; the new lot will provide service to MTA Commuter Bus Line #515.
Other State and county roads and bridges will be improved near the interchange project including:
- Widening and deck replacement the southbound US 15 Bridge over Tuscarora Creek and widening and overlaying the northbound UD 15 Bridge. ,
- Realigning Thomas Johnson Drive from Byte Drive north to the east to create a T-intersection with Christopher Crossing,
- Creating a cul-de-sac at Hayward Road and close the open median on US 15,
- Reconfiguring the US 15 and Willow Road intersection to allow only right-in/right out to southbound US 15,
- Reconfiguring the median open at US 15 at Biggs Ford Road to accommodate U-turns, and
- Resurfacing US 15 from south of Hayward Road to Willow Road.
The widening includes safety enhancements to minimize traffic conflict points by limiting access along the newly widened roadway. The new interchange will also support economic development and enhance safety in a growing area of Frederick County.
Construction began in July 2015 and is scheduled to be complete in early 2018.
According to the State Highway Administration, crews recently completed work on:
Current work items/areas:
- Continued compaction of fill areas for Monocacy Interchange
• US 15 NB and SB Reconstruction of Tuscarora Bridge
• Continued installation of Signals, Light poles and Foundations (Cable and Conduit)
• Excavation of Bio-Retention Ponds for Storm Water Management
• Pulling Electrical lines through underground conduit
• Placing Guardrail
• Deck pours on the new Monocacy Bridge over US 15
Crews are currently working on the following:
• Placing Topsoil and stabilizing various areas
• Installing Curb and Gutter
• Building Bio-Retention Ponds for Storm Water Management
• Continued pouring of the deck of new Monocacy Bridge over US 15
• Continued installation of Underdrain along roadways
• Preparing subgrade for the Park and Ride lot
• Continued reconstruction of US 15 NB and SB Tuscarora Bridge
Just south of the new interchange, another stage of this project began last summer and will see growing activity to replace the northbound bridge of U.S. 15 over MD 26. The new bridge will be twice as wide as the existing bridge, but will not feature more lanes, at this time.
The existing bridge is a 151 feet long three span steel girder bridge. The existing bridge roadway section consists of a 30’-0” clear width that includes two 12’-0” lanes with 3’shoulders. The new bridge is a 92 ft single span steel girder bridge. The proposed structure has a clear roadway width of 60’-7”, with two 12’ lanes, a 26’-4” inside shoulder and a 10’-2” minimum outside shoulder.
The bridge work is taking place in two stages. All lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times along US 15 northbound and MD 26. The project also includes 0.52 miles of approach road widening and resurfacing.
Crews continue to excavate for south and began work for the north abutments.