US 220 @ I-68 Exit 42 & Greene St

US 220 @ I-68 Geometric Improvements
Project # AL419 Update
Stephen A. Bucy
Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA)
• Project Background
• Current Project
• Schedule
• Questions
Project Background
• Issue: Safety Concerns with Undersized Merge Area onto EB I-68
from combined NB US 220 and Fletcher Dr high-speed ramp
– NB US 220 and Fletcher Dr Ramps are < 1,000 ft apart
– Curbed grass separation adjacent to I-68 required to combine the merge
area for both ramps
Safety Issues with
Small Merge Area
Fletcher Dr Ramp
US 220 NB Ramp
Project Background
• Issue: Direct access from SB US 220/Greene St to EB I-68 is NOT
provided at the interchange
– Traffic must take a circuitous route on local residential streets to get to the
Fletcher Dr Ramp
No Left Turn
Ramp to EB I-68
Project Background
• 2006: Determined the Way Ahead
– Change the Fletcher Dr ramp to restricted access
– Eliminate a section of the grass median, which allows the ramp merge area to
be extended significantly
– Provide direct access from SB US 220/Greene St to EB I-68 at the interchange
• 2007: SHA initiated a engineering concept study
• 2008: Final report came in with 2 primary interchange alternatives
– 1: Roundabout
– 2: Left/U-Turn Lane (Included Signal)
• 2008: Roundabout Alternative was chosen
– SHA initiated a design contract
– SHA Roundabout Design Team made improvement recommendations
Project Background
• 2008: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Concurs
• 2009: Project design progress temporarily halted due to statewide
funding issues
• 2010: Concrete interchange area transferred from City to SHA
• 2010: Project design funding restored
– Final Design Review Meeting in Dec 2010
• Project to include full depth pavement to replace concrete pavement through interchange
• Project to include paving below the interchange to a point near the Industrial Park entrance
• 2010: Project construction funding secured
• 2011: Project design completed
Current Project
• Extended Merge Area
– Large section of grass median eliminated
– Allows the ramp merge area to be extended significantly
New End
of Curb
New Gate
Grass Median
Current Project
• Roundabout  “U-About” Concept at the interchange
Current Project
• Project Benefits:
– Addressed the safety issues at the EB I-68 Exit 42 on-ramp
Remove large section of grass median  Extends merge/acceleration area
Better operation of the merge
Reduces back-ups on ramp that are currently observed during peak periods
Removes the conflict point between Fletcher Dr ramp movement and the
US 220 ramp
– Provides access from SB US 220/Greene St to EB I-68 at the interchange
• Simplifies access to the Interstate
• Provides access for all types of vehicles at Exit 42 from West Side
• Reduces traffic on local residential streets (Fayette, Gephart, and Fletcher)
Current Project
• Project Benefits:
– Full depth replacement of all the problematic concrete pavement
– Pavement job extends south to a point near the Industrial Park
– Interchange
lighting upgrades
– Drainage
– Signage upgrades
– Traffic Calming
Current Project
• Project Questions:
– Will emergency vehicles
and/or the Armory have
access to the old ramp?
New Gate
– Yes
– The gate will be padlocked and
applicable emergency services
organizations as well as the
Armory personnel will be
issued keys for emergency use
Current Project
• Project Questions:
– Will there be any problems
accessing the City Pump
New Gate
– No
– The gate will be located below
the pump station entrance, so
there will be no access issues
Current Project
• Project Questions:
– Will residents in Fletcher Dr
area have access to the old
– No
New Gate
• The old ramp will be closed to
public access
• Do Not Enter and “For Use of
Authorized and Emergency Use
Vehicles Only” signs will be
• Residents will have to travel to
one of the other EB I-68 onramps
– Note: This also means less
overall traffic on the local
residential streets
Current Project
• Project Questions:
– Why is the “Passing lane” on NB
US 220 before the interchange
being eliminated?
• The second lane was never a
“Passing lane,” but the start of the
divide where one lane would go to
EB I-68 and the other to WB I-68
• Today’s tractor trailers have
sufficient power to compare with
the climbing power of passenger
• Note: There will still be a separate
left turn lane into the Park & Ride
Current Project
• Project Questions:
– Was consideration given to NB US 220 vehicles having to yield on an
• Yes
• There may be slight back-ups during peak traffic periods of the day
• The yield scenario is preferred over coming to a complete stop, many times
unnecessarily, at a traffic signal
– How does this project relate to the future US 220 Corridor?
• The 2 issues are independent
• This project meets an immediate need & is managed by SHA’s District 6 office in LaVale
• City officials and local SHA staff were recently updated on the status of the US 220
Corridor Tier One Planning Study, led by the state of West Virginia
• Although there is progress on the US 220 Corridor, there is still much work to be done
• Project Questions:
Current Project
– Why are we installing another roundabout?
• Addressed the left turn at a
severe angle that previously
could not be navigated
• The engineering study showed
that a roundabout offered a
better level of service than a
signal at this specific location
• Other advantages:
Improves intersection safety
Keeps traffic moving
Reduces unnecessary stops
Reduces air pollution
Minimal maintenance required
after construction
Project Schedule
• Spring 2011: Project goes out for bid
• Summer 2011: Project will be awarded
• Fall 2011: Site preparation work to begin
• 2012: Majority of construction activity will occur
– “U-About” opened
– Fletcher Dr ramp changed to restricted access only
Other Questions?
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