$93 Million Project Expands Traffic Capacity, Reduces Congestion and Enhances Safety for Commuters, Residents and Businesses
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) earlier this week announced completion of a $93 million project to reconstruct and expand the I-270/MD 85 (Buckeystown Pike) interchange in Frederick County. This project enhances safety, reduces congestion and expands traffic capacity in this heavily traveled residential and commercial area.
“For the past eight years, our administration has invested in transportation solutions that reduce congestion and keep our citizens and economy moving forward,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This new interchange provides much-needed relief for tens of thousands of Frederick County residents, commuters and commercial vehicle drivers traveling through this area every day.”
In 2015, Governor Hogan added funding for Frederick County’s top priority project as part of his administration’s record investment in roads and bridges. Two poorly rated bridges on I-270 over MD 85, both built in 1950, were replaced. MDOT SHA contractor Joseph B. Fay Company, of Glen Burnie, removed the two bridges and constructed a new single, three-span structure. Frederick County provided $1.5 million to partially fund project engineering.
Under the new configuration, northbound MD 85 traffic now accesses northbound I-270 via an innovative design known as a partial diverging diamond. The interchange utilizes traffic signals to allow vehicles to cross in opposing directions, efficiently moving large volumes of traffic and increasing safety. Other improvements include:
- Widening of MD 85 with an additional lane in each direction between Spectrum Drive and just north of Crestwood Boulevard/Shockley Drive.
- A new median on MD 85 to separate northbound and southbound traffic.
- New sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps.
- New bicycle lanes.
- Wider exit ramps to and from northbound and southbound I-270.
- New stormwater structures and pipes to improve area drainage.
“The new I-270/MD 85 interchange provides a safer and less congested route for all users and will boost economic vitality and opportunity across the region,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr., who took part in a ribbon cutting for the project Monday along MD 85. “We really appreciate our partners in Frederick County who worked with MDOT SHA to deliver a project that’s innovative and will accommodate traffic today and in the future.”
Average daily traffic on I-270 over MD 85 is currently about 90,000, vehicles and is projected to grow to an estimated 130,000 vehicles by 2030. Traffic volume on MD 85 is currently 43,000 vehicles a day and is expected to increase to 52,000 vehicles by 2030.
“The benefit of this project was realized through a great partnership between the state, county, the contractor and the local community,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “Our success in building these types of improvements under traffic and then implementing the new configuration is a testament to the collaboration and teamwork of everyone in the corridor.”