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Aberdeen residents face last water shutoffs as Route 40 work continues

BY BRYNA ZUMER, bzumer@theaegis.com

5:25 PM EDT, September 11, 2013

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Some Aberdeen residents in the Route 40 area have dealt with water shutoffs in the wake of an ongoing state project to improve part of the road; however, the last of them is expected to occur this week.

The State Highway Administration is in the midst of a $1.7 million project to improve half a mile of the service road parallel to the west side of Route 40 between West Bel Air Avenue and Robinson Avenue.

The construction work began July 29 and was set to continue through summer 2014. It is in line with the city's plans for transit-oriented development, rebuilding the area around the Amtrak/MARC train station and making the Route 40 corridor greener and more pedestrian friendly.

In recent weeks, the SHA sent notices to customers about the water line impacts, which are weather-dependent.

"Shortly after SHA's project began the first week of August, our contractor needed to do some overnight water shutoffs, which began August 29," SHA spokesman David Buck said in an e-mail Wednesday.

"[The shutoffs] are permitted to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. [Forty-eight]-hour notice is required and has been provided. The City of Aberdeen provided SHA a list of houses and businesses that were affected and SHA provided advanced warning to these folks," Buck said.

Letters sent to the residents said: "Daisy Concrete Inc. of Maryland (DCM) along with the City of Aberdeen and Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA) will be shutting down your water service on Thursday, August 29th, 2013 from 10 p.m. to August 30th at 5 a.m. The work is part of the MD SHA US 40 Service Road Improvements project. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Tom Webber, Project Manager for DCM at 302-250-5136 or Abraham Kidane, Project Engineer for MD SHA at 410-272-2345."

Two more nighttime water line impacts were expected on Wednesday and Thursday night, weather permitting, Buck said.

"That is anticipated to be the end of the water impacts," he said.

Buck said both the City of Aberdeen and BGE did water line work and gas line relocation, respectively, in the same area this summer.

The city's water project ended before the SHA road project started, he said.

The SHA construction project involves pavement patching, repairs and resurfacing; construction of new sidewalks and ramps; construction of a median between the service road and the west side of Route 40; water line relocation work; drainage improvement; and installation of new pavement markings and traffic signs.

The construction could also include lane closures and lane shifts along the service road and highway. SHA will maintain access to businesses during construction, according to an earlier press release.

Crews may work during the day Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and at night Sunday through Thursday between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day. If necessary, crews may work during the day on weekends.

Residents with questions about the service road project can contact SHA's District Four Office - Construction Division at 410-229-2420; toll free at 1-866-998-0367 or by e-mail at shadistrict4@sha.state.md.us.