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State announces $28.9 million project to replace Washington Boulevard bridge in Arbutus

Traffic on I-695 between I-70 and Rt 40 slows on in May 2018.
Traffic on I-695 between I-70 and Rt 40 slows on in May 2018. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration will begin a $28.9 million project late this month to replace the U.S. 1/Washington Boulevard bridge in Arbutus that traverses the CSX Transportation rail line.

The bridge will remain open to traffic during three stages of construction, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021, according to the SHA.

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Contracted crews from Lane Construction Co. of Glen Burnie will work Sunday nights through Friday mornings between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., as well as Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Crews will direct traffic with signs, road barrels and a temporary concrete barrier.

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Approximately 18,200 vehicles travel on the section of Washington Boulevard between the I-195 Metropolitan Boulevard interchange and Clarke Boulevard each day, according to the state.

Charlie Gischlar, a spokesman for the SHA, said drivers could expect 10-minute delays if they’re going through the area while road work is taking place.

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“We won’t totally close the lanes, [but] it might be tight through there,” Gishclar said.

The SHA said there will be “occasional, late night detours” when crews work to remove and replace steel beams.

The new bridge will have wider shoulders and a new left-turn lane from northbound U.S. 1 to Clark Boulevard. The existing bridge, built in 1929, is safe for travel, according to the SHA, but has “outlived its useful service life.”

County Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents Arbutus, said it was “good to hear” about the new construction project.

“I know this has been on the list for awhile, so this is good to see,” he said.

The new bridge will be 120 feet longer and 4 feet higher, enabling CSX to add future rail lines, a rail service road and to double-stack freight cars.

This project in Arbutus is part of the $2 billion in infrastructure funding that Gov. Larry Hogan announced in June 2015.

Hogan’s plan has been criticized by some transportation advocates in Baltimore, especially supporters of the $2.9 billion Red Line light-rail project, a proposal that Hogan canceled and called a “boondoggle.”

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