State highway crews will begin the first phase of upgrades to the Route 24 and I-95 intersection in Abingdon tomorrow as surveys and utility relocations get under way.
The Maryland Transportation Authority is beginning a three-year, $38 million construction project for a 1.5-mile stretch of Route 24 from the I-95 ramp to Route 924. The improvements will add capacity, relieve congestion and make the four-lane highway that already handles about 65,000 vehicles a day safer, officials said.
The plan calls for building a bridge over Route 924 and eliminating the signal for through traffic. The completed project will give motorists a nonstop ride from I-95 north to Singer Road.
The first phase involves construction of a half-mile temporary roadway in the wooded area along Route 24 that has been designed to keep traffic flowing during construction. That temporary road, which will tie back into Route 924 at Woodsdale Road, will be razed once the project is completed.
Then, construction will focus on the multilane, signaled intersection at routes 24 and 924. The intersection causes significant traffic delays and, since most Bel Air-bound vehicles rely on the Route 24 exit, rush-hour traffic often stacks up on I-95.
The project includes improvements to a 1.5-mile segment of I-95 at the Route 24 ramps and widening of the Route 24 bridge over I-95. As the work progresses and as soon as next week, lanes will be closed but not during peak hours, officials said.
Once the bridge over Route 924 is completed, only traffic turning at the intersection will stop at the signal. On the east side of Route 24, Route 924 is also known as Emmorton Road. On the west, it is Tollgate Road. Both sides of the road lead to large shopping complexes.
This month and in early 2009, workers will begin erosion and sediment control and will be installing orange fencing and concrete barriers along Route 24. They will also be adjusting pavement markings along routes 924 and 24.
Details about the project, including its design and construction schedule, are available by going to www.mdtransportationauthority.com and clicking on capital projects, or callers can receive updates at 1-877-368-1141.