Part of Route 22 in Aberdeen is lined with empty houses marked "No Trespassing," as the State Highway Administration moves forward with plans to raze 18 homes between Beards Hill Road and Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The SHA plans to start working on the demolition within the next few weeks and hopes to get everything cleared by the summer, spokeswoman Kellie Boulware said Wednesday.
Nine homes have been vacated, Boulware said, and the rest are expected to be emptied shortly. Two or three are still under negotiation between the SHA and the owners, she added.
The houses that have been taken over now have large, black signs from State Highway Administration warning against trespassing.
Boulware said she did not know of any issues related to acquiring the properties.
The acquisition and demolition of the homes are part of a BRAC-related intersection improvement project that will cost $7 million to $10 million per intersection along Route 22 from I-95 to the Aberdeen Proving Ground employee and contractor gate.
The original plans released at the June 2012 public meeting showed 16 homes to be demolished and about 59 more to be affected by right-of-way purchases.
Boulware said, however, that the SHA plans to tear down 18 homes in all.
She said notification was sent out to "anyone adjacent to the 18 homes" within the past few weeks to let them know they would see construction and utility-related work soon.
The adjacent properties are not expected to be directly affected, she said.
"Of course, were not doing all of them at once," Boulware said about the demolition. "We just want to make sure people are staying away from them since they are vacant properties."
Scope of project
SHA's plans, as explained to the public last summer, include adding a third through-lane to both sides of Route 22 and a left-turn lane from Route 22 onto Beards Hill Road, as well as widening parts of Beards Hill, Paradise and Old Post roads to accommodate bicycles.
SHA also said it plans to grind and overlay Beards Hill Road, Paradise Road and Old Post Road, add or extend sidewalks, construct curbs and gutters and upgrade traffic signals at all three intersections.
A concrete median would be added to Beards Hill Road and the single left-turn lanes would be widened to double left-turn lanes on each approach to Route 22.
A third through-lane to Route 22 would be added at Paradise Road (Route 462) in both directions by widening the road, and the right-turn lane for westbound drivers on Route 22 to Paradise Road would be lengthened.
On Paradise Road, the existing shared through/right-turn lane and left-turn lanes would be widened to two double left-turn lanes, a through-lane and separate right-turn lanes for southbound drivers going toward Route 22.
A new right-turn lane would be added to the single left-turn lane on Paradise. Pavement would be widened on both sides of the road to accommodate the extra lanes.
At the intersection of Route 22 and Old Post Road, a third through-lane would be added to Route 22 in both directions.
Another left-turn lane for eastbound drivers on Route 22 to Old Post Road would be added. The existing Route 22 median at that intersection would be widened to accommodate the shift.
Most of the road widening is proposed on the east side of Old Post Road closer to APG A noise-barrier wall has been proposed just east of the Paradise Road intersection.
The project is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2014 and be fully open for traffic by spring of 2017, according to SHA.